New model raises salaried staff retention

An alternative model of general practice in south London has helped to retain salaried staff and develop leadership.

Dr Gerada is one of the group's five partners offering an alternative model (Photograph: Pete Hill)
Dr Gerada is one of the group's five partners offering an alternative model (Photograph: Pete Hill)

The Hurley Group comprises 12 practices, three walk-in centres, a minor injury unit and practitioner health programme. It cares for 55,000 registered patients and 110,000 patients at the walk-in centres. It has five partners, one of whom is chairman-elect of the RCGP, Dr Clare Gerada.

Dr Rafik Taibjee, a GP at the Hurley Clinic in Kennington, explained how his practice was part of the group which covers Greater London.

Dr Taibjee said that the group employed 57 doctors. 'Each partner has a specific specialty - for example, one is in charge of HR and another does clinical governance - and they provide expertise to all 12 practices.'

The group is divided into zones of three to four practices headed by a hub manager who carries out a performance management role.

The model enables young doctors to gain experience in leadership, while also benefiting from mentoring at an early part of their career by more experienced doctors.

Dr Taibjee's job involves eight clinical sessions each week plus management responsibilities. 'It's a challenge but it gives me experience well beyond what I could have expected at this stage, even if I worked in a partnership,' he said.

A strength of the model is the opportunity for this type of career development as a salaried doctor. It enabled new GPs to move to a new practice to gain more experience without changing employer, he said.

The group avoids the destabilising effect of a high turnover of salaried doctors. 'Two thirds of GPs in London are salaried and they do move,' he said.

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