Towards a Role-Based Model for General Practice Administration.
The principles on which our management policies are based are slightly different from what might be considered the norm in some practices. For instance, we do not have a 'practice manager' role as such, preferring instead to accept that the traditional Practice Manager role is in truth a collection of smaller roles which can more efficiently be distributed amongst other staff members. This 'role based model' of management is common in other industries but not widely used in General Practice.
This has several advantages:
1. It means that each role may be assigned to the person best suited to performing it.
2. There is a simple way of distributing work amongst staff, allowing for development.
3. Expansion is easier as roles may be readily redistributed to balance workload.
4. It is easy to identify specific jobs that need to be done.
5. It is easier to ensure that essential parts of the job are completed in the event of leave.
6. The practice is much more robust as one person carries fewer roles.
In larger practices, it may well be appropriate to have one person who takes on most if not all of the roles but doing so does reduce robustness. Overall we feel it is better to have several staff who each perform some of the duties most of the time and all of the duties occasionally.
The job descriptions attached are designed to define the roles referred to in the policy documents:
Financial Officer (payable)
Financial Officer (receivable)
Health And Safety Officer
Senior Practice Nurse
Infection Control Officer
(Note that this section is currently under development and not all job descriptions are currently available online)
Given the very small size of most of these job descriptions, it may be tempting to merge them together for convenience. We recommend that if you are using them, you list them as the duties of a staff member as separate roles. This makes it clear what is expected of the staff member and makes it easier to modify the indvidual roles in conjunction with those to whom they are assigned.
To incorporate these contractually, we include a clause in the staff contract which lists the roles the staff member is expected to fulfil regularly. We attach each job description as part of the schedules to the contract.
Please note that these are suggestions only and not a substitute for proper legal advice. This is how we do things but we make no warranty whatsoever that the policies and processes listed here are compliant with legislation or that using them is a good idea for you. You make your own decisions and use what you use at your own risk. You are advised to check any business contract or decision with your usual legal adviser.
As always, we welcome any feedback you might be kind enough to provide on our model of organisation. We will try to answer questions if you ask. If you decide to modify our policies in any significant way, we should very much appreciate a copy of the modified policy, so that we may benefit from your experience too.