A Day in the Life of...a Primary Care Network Manager

Name & role 

Shelley Christou – Primary Care Network & Patient Services Manager

The job you do

As a Primary Care Network (PCN) Manager I am responsible for strategic transformation through a range of funding streams and PCN development. Supporting the organisation by staying updated on current affairs, identifying potential threats and highlighting opportunities. I manage the contractual requirements, with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating our performance. I am required to be aware of national, local and practice quality standards, I ensure all practice policies are fully implemented, and that we are CQC compliant. Rather importantly it is also my role to maximise opportunities for income generation.

I am also the lead manager for Patient Services, ensuring there are effective mechanisms in place for listening to, engaging and responding to patient feedback and wishes in relation to their care.

In other words

Overseer, Communicator and Juggler

What might a typical day look like?

No two days are the same but it usually begins at least an hour (often more) before I arrive at work at 8am, with messages coming in from staff, whether they are unwell or forgotten the alarm code.  Once at my desk with a cuppa and muesli in hand, I am personally very list driven and start my day checking and prioritising what is on my list.  I work mainly from my desk, bound to my computer, in a shared office at our School Hill site and don’t get to the other sites as much as I would like.  There will be emails to read, delete, forward, respond to or flag for response later in the day/week.  I check my diary for meetings and plan my work day around the priorities on my list.

Most days I am scheduled to attend meetings.  These may be regular check-ins with the various teams I work with, internally and externally, or to discuss specific areas of development or progress a new project.  We have various weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings to review practice performance. I work closely with the Clinical Governance Lead and ensure there is regular review of significant events and complaints – organising meetings, issuing procedures and policies, and acting as a central source of information. I always endeavour to attend the weekly webinar with the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Medical Committee, to keep abreast of current guidelines and news.  There are often other externally organised webinars and educational events at least once or twice a week.

Throughout the day I have various tasks to complete.  These include inputting claims to NHS England or the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for payment for the services we provide. Preparing regular reports for the executive board to monitor performance against targets.  Investigating and responding to complaints. Implementation of a new service specification.  Monitoring our services, through reports from our clinical system and identify areas which require my support.

I work alongside our Communications Team to ensure we keep our patients and staff well informed of new guidance and changes within the practice.  We are currently working on a project to encourage and improve patient engagement. This has been a major piece of work, navigating GDPR issues and limited resources available to us and I am very excited to see how this develops.

Qualities in quantities

Resilience, Determination, Caring and Patience

Highs and Lows

Highs – Having worked in Primary Care for 20years, from Receptionist to Manager, I have seen many changes. Getting to play an integral role, alongside my amazing colleagues, in the merging of the Lewes GP practices to become Foundry Healthcare has been one of my proudest moments. It has given us the opportunity to employ many additional staff and meant we had the resilience not only to cope with the pressures imposed on us by the pandemic, but also to provide a local vaccination service for our residents.  It has not been an easy task but I am so pleased and excited about all that has been achieved so far and what developments are to come.

Lows – It saddens me to say that I have to deal with reports of verbal abuse against our staff, and have recently seen an increase in such incidents across our sites. Foundry is made up of wonderful people who really genuinely care for our patients, who strive to work with them to ensure all their health needs are met.

For the safety of our staff, we do take a zero tolerance approach to these situations.

Message in a bottle

Practice Managers have a lot to do!

My main objective is to try and keep everyone happy, which is no mean feat!!  I feel a huge responsibility for the happiness and well-being of Foundry’s amazing team of staff.  I also feel the weight of endeavouring to meet the needs of our practice population, to provide a holistic health service, while managing the resources we have to do this with and ultimately ensuring that as a small business we remain profitable.

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