Sessional GPs at the vanguard of CCG leadership

From what’s we’ve seen from other countries who’ve tried to implement similar changes to what we’re currently experiencing in the NHS in England, our ultimate success will depend upon adequately trained NHS leaders.

But where are all these leaders? The whole point of CCGs is that they’re supposed to be led by GPs, because we have the holistic experience and knowledge that’s needed to plan the most appropriate care for those patients who we see every day. Yet so many CCGs are struggling to recruit GP leaders, largely because they’re only casting their net in one particular pool – that of conventional GP principals.

A recent study by the RCGP Centre for Clinical Commissioning to look in to how CCGs are engaging with all GPs (both sessional GPs (sGPs) and partners) found:

  • sGPs form around 45% of the workforce.
  • Increasingly it is clear that GP partners cannot provide all the solutions to CCG leadership positions.
  • There are more opportunities (and less conflicts of interests) for sGPs due to portfolio careers.
  • Many sGPs have the skills, but may lack the confidence to put themselves forward for these opportunities.
  • The RCGP is looking to encourage sGPs to take up positions of leadership and contribute to work streams in CCGs.

With this in mind, it’s fairly obvious that the next generation of CCG leaders will come mainly from the sessional GP community, both those of us who are already sGPs, as well as traditional GP partners who become sGPs to enable them to focus on commissioning.

In response to this, we’ve been working with a team of people, including Arden Primary Care and London Academy Business School, to provide an Edexcel Postgraduate Diploma (Level 7) in Strategic Management and Leadership training programme to enable any GP to gain the necessary clinical commissioning leadership skills. While our first target audience is sessional GPs – and of course, there is a substantial discount for any current NASGP members! - the training is designed for all leaders of emerging CCGs.

The bespoke training programme equips healthcare professionals in leadership positions on CCGs to meet present and future challenges. The course material, all accredited by Edexcel, is divided into these three domains:

  • Half-day course or conferences
  • Six to eight week online training modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma (Level 7) in Strategic Management and Leadership.

These courses, designed for busy sGPs, will provide a rounded, management qualification that will give sGPs both confidence and, hopefully, even a competitive advantage in applying for CCG leadership roles, or indeed any other position that you’d be applying for as part of your portfolio career.

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