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Developing a federated model of General Practice: Division of responsibilities within the board

"The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
Napoleon Hill, Author

Sharing the workload equally amongst the Directors is not going to be as simple and straightforward as it sounds. It is however a crucial process that needs be worked established at the outset, or you risk one or two people having a significant workload and others with little to do.  The risk in that is we end up with one voice leading the whole process, which is a recipe for disaster. 

The early key roles tend to be:

  • Chief Executive
    This individual needs to drive the business forward, sharing the vision and values of the organisation and really selling your company to all stakeholders.
  • Medical Directors
    Individuals with strong clinical knowledge and an innovative approach is a must for the type of services you will be delivering.
  • Contract and contract monitoring
    Someone who will work to negotiate and secure business for the company.
  • Communications and engagement
    The key to early success is being able to demonstrate the engagement of the
    membership, and the ability to act as one corporate body.  Not an easy
    task to achieve and not a role to underestimate.
  • Corporate Governance
    One of the Directors will need to pay close attention to the articles of association and shareholders agreement and at the same time, start to get a grasp of basic company law. Clearly legal support for this role is recommended; however, it does need to sit within the company.
  • Finance
    An individual to oversee the income and expenditure, early support from a specialist medical accountant may be advantageous to guide you in the early stages.

Each role will find workload ebbs and flows depending on what the company is doing; however, based on experience it is safe to assume that planning for 3 or 4 sessions a month is not unreasonable. 

These sessions will of course need to be in normal working hours, as that’s when your other stakeholders will be available to work with you.

For those becoming Directors, it is therefore really a career decision they are making as this is not something you can simply fit in now and again when you have a bit of time, particularly when the company starts to grow and more time is required in your role as a Director.  To truly take ownership over your roles and to be successful, you have to allocate the right resource at the outset.

"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work."
Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President

Scott Mckenzie

Scott Mckenzie

NHS Management Consultant

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