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Developing a federated model of General Practice - Developing a Risk Management Strategy

  • 5th August 2014

Developing a federated model of General Practice - Developing a Risk Management Strategy

The principal objective of the risk management strategy is to provide the Board of Directors with sufficient assurance that appropriate structures and processes are in place to minimise risks, loss of assets and reputation, and that reporting processes for risk are maintained, monitored and appropriate action takes place in line with agreed procedures.

The strategy will also seek to:

  • ensure that the risk management processes are integral to the federation working practices and culture;
  • encourage the reporting of incidents, within a fair blame culture ensuring that lessons are learned and preventative measures introduced;
  • ensure that, through the strengthening of risk management arrangements there are continual improvements to patient safety;
  • minimise claims for accident or injury against the federation;
  • support systems which eliminate, transfer or reduce risks to as acceptable a level as possible;
  • secure the highest possible standards of risk management in terms of external validation.

The organisation absolutely must recognise that effective risk management is essential to the overall performance of the company.

The strategic approach to risk management is therefore fundamental to the delivery of high quality care, as well as the organisational objectives in relation to performance, governance and controls assurance.

In the context of service delivery high quality care[1] requires three dimensions to be present[2],

1. Clinical effectiveness - quality care is care which is delivered according to the best evidence as to what is clinically effective in improving an individuals health outcomes

2. Patient safety - quality care is care which is delivered so as to avoid all avoidable harm and risk to the individuals safety

3. Patient experience - quality care is care which looks to give the individual as positive an experience of receiving and recovering from the care as possible, including being treated according to what that individual wants or needs, and with compassion, dignity and respect.

Effective risk management systems and the development of a committed approach to learning will ensure that the company continues to deliver high quality patient centred care while continually developing and improving its services.

In developing an approach to risk management your goal is to ensure:

  • all risks are identified that have a potential adverse effect on the quality of care, safety and well being of patients and staff, and on the business, performance and reputation of the organisation
  • the organisation recognises risk management as a key element of integrated governance
  • risk management systems and processes are embedded in business planning, service development, financial planning, project and programme management and education
  • the organisation adopts a coordinated and multi-disciplinary approach in managing its risks through a systematic process of identification, analysis, learning, control and management of risk

You need to keep in mind the Board of Directors carry the legal accountability.  Your approach to the management of risk becomes part of your approach to protecting your Board of Directors.

At BW Medical, our specialists include the approach to identification and management of risk within our set up workshops, ensuing on formation of the company, your first Board Meeting can complete the work and you have a robust approach to risk right from the start.

Next time we will we will explore why having a welcoming approach to feedback is a good idea, and helps you avoid problems.

For more information on how BW Medical Accountants can support you in forming a federation and beyond the set-up, or to arrange to speak to one of our experts please contact enquiry@bw-medical.co.uk or call 0191 653 1022.

Additionally, if you should have questions for us please email rachael.mackays@bw-medical.co.uk and we will do our best to answer these within the blog.


[1] This definition of quality has now been enshrined in legislation through the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

[2] National Quality Board -Quality in the new health system, Maintaining and improving quality from April 2013

Who writes this?

Scott Mckenzie

Scott Mckenzie

NHS Management Consultant / Working at Scale
Find out more about Scott
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