Going Virtual

We are living in unprecedented times. The pace of change being forced upon us is both astounding and bewildering, with massive changes happening literally within hours.

What is very clear is that the work within the NHS can’t stop; it faces unparalleled pressure, but is also adapting the way it works in order to manage the challenges it’s facing. The NHS team is simply amazing; how they do what they do I have no idea. I know I couldn’t do it.

This is why I prefer my support to be working to try and aid what they do. I have spent 15 years now working in that role, mostly with General Practice, either individually or operating at scale, through Primary Care Networks, GP federation and practice merger, all aligned with redesigning the workload and the workforce. That isn’t going to change; my goal remains to support practices create a working environment they are happy with because that creates a working environment that others are likely to be happy to work in, making recruitment and retention that bit easier.

For me, it has changed the way I need to work, with a greater emphasis on phone, email and online work. While the shift online has often been resisted, it has now happened in literally less than a week. By Friday I will have worked remotely online four days this week and only once have I been face to face; however, that was before the guidance changed.

What is already clear is that you can still deliver the outcomes you require online. Yes, it’s different, but if people switch their camera on and genuinely join and engage, the online meetings can be just as effective as a face to face meeting, but they save a lot of time by not having people travel.

One of the days was a pathway redesign, involving General Practice, Mental Health and Community Services. People were not used to the technology, but we made it on, fully engaged and we got through to exactly where we needed to be in terms of what it had been planned to achieve in the face to face meeting. The progress has kept the project on track.

Turning to the pharmaceutical industry, I have already had work agreed for online training and development of teams who are now in lockdown at home. Again, I have tailored my approach to spend time online with smaller groups to ensure the time is engaging and outcome focused for all in the group. This has gone down well with the clients who are looking at regular sessions while the teams cannot be client facing.

It’s new and different, but already I am sensing online working and client support, be that for the NHS or the pharmaceutical industry is going to prove a good way forward, not just for now, but long-term as well.

Scott McKenzie is an independent management consultant supporting GP Practices, GP Federations, Primary Care Networks of 30k-50k structure correctly to then deliver high quality patient outcomes with financially viable solutions. Scott is working to support the Pharma, Med Tech and Device Companies better engage and access the NHS. For more information on how we can support you please contact Frances on 0845 388 0302 or email enquiries@scottmckenzieconsultancy.com

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