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ILM Training: A Primary Care Manager’s Learning Diary

Every GP practice manager works under unique circumstances, but education and experience are two key factors to unlocking success in primary care. An ILM-accredited professional management certification can provide the skills and knowledge to boost your career.



We are continuing to follow the journey of a primary care manager as they embark on a Thornfields  training course accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and tailored to the development needs of GP practice managers.

In the second part of her leadership and management training diary, GP practice manager Susan Lowe tells us about her background in primary care, why she decided to take an ILM programme and what she hopes to achieve through taking the course.

 

What were your first impressions after starting your ILM course?

My first impressions were very positive. It was evident that the course was well structured and the trainer was first class.

The supporting workbooks were of a high quality and the way you would progress through the course was clearly explained. Expectations of you as a trainee were clearly set out and so from the start you had a clear understanding of what was needed to pass the diploma.

 

What are your thoughts on the dynamics of the training group?

The mix of people in the group was not what I initially expected. The members of my group were all a lot younger than me and in various roles from general practice. There was a mix of newly appointed managers and those with more experience.

There were a collection of roles including reception managers, office / administration managers, deputy / assistant practice managers and fully fledged practice managers. This proved to be an excellent mix for the group sessions with the trainer, as lots of different perspectives and experiences could be shared to help everyone see things from each other’s viewpoints.

 

What have been your key learnings so far?

So far I have learned so many useful tools and techniques to help with confidently managing some of the challenging situations I currently have to deal with, but more than anything I have learned so much about myself.

 

The key things I have learned are:

  • Simple things to do to keep a team motivated
  • Robust ways to ensure you can solve problems effectively
  • Smarter ways to resolve conflict
  • How to the skills I have learned to date will support the building of high performing teams

 

What have you managed to implement in your practice already?

Following each module I have been able to go back to the workplace and implement something which has helped. These have included:

  • Ensuring I have effectively communicated by using the techniques we have learned to clarify the message really has got through to the recipients
  • I have completely changed out appraisal process to support the delivery of organisational objectives, a regular review of job descriptions, and ensuring that staff can no longer just say they don’t want to develop and are happy as they are
  • I have learned techniques to solve complaints and office conflict in a more timely way
  • I can now spot people’s strengths and weakness easier and how to utilise them and / or develop them to enhance the team’s performance

 

Which part of the course are you most looking forward to?

I am now looking forward to the final day where everything will come together and make complete sense. I can see now how the modules are building to deliver a more confident manager who can build effective teams.

 

Has Susan’s story inspired you to learn more? Nationally accredited by the Institute for Leadership & Management, Thornfields’ Leadership and Management programmes equip you with the skills to thrive in GP practice management. Get in touch with us to find out more!


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