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Managing a distracted GP partner

25 January 2018, Pulse

Dr Nigel Watson: Agree appropriate boundaries...

Many GPs with outside roles achieve a more balanced life, are happier as a result, and can bring back knowledge and skills that are beneficial to their practice. A portfolio career can also allow individuals to develop interests that will keep them fresh and enthusiastic and remain as a GP for longer. This can be achieved, but it requires both sides to be open and honest, and to see things objectively from the other’s perspective.

Firstly clarify whether the outside work is undertaken in the GP’s own time or in practice time. If in their own time, you should have clear boundaries between the GP’s own work and the practice’s. The more boundaries are blurred without clear understanding and agreement, the more likely you are to experience conflict.

If it is during practice time, you should be clear about the time commitment and that the practice work is covered adequately, either financially or by another colleague.

The best way to then take things forward is for one of the partners to have an informal discussion with the individual and express the concerns. Hopefully, you will then be able to jointly address the issues from both the practice’s and the individual’s perspective, and agree to review the situation in three to six months’ time.

It may be worth discussing with an impartial colleague, such as a representative of your LMC. Always try to find a solution that both parties are happy with.

My partners have always been supportive of my outside LMC work. I always agreed work done during practice time with them, and any funding received went into the practice. When I went from full time to part time, we agreed the sessions I would work and only change these by mutual agreement.

Dr Nigel Watson is a GP in Hampshire and chief executive of Wessex LMC

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Updated on 08 May 2018 731 views