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25 November 2016
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Leaders in Healthcare – all things Primary Care!

It was great to see such a vibrant primary care presence at Leaders in Healthcare 2016 conference this month, which enabled us to share FMLM’s aims to inspire, equip and support GPs in the leadership aspects of their careers. We were also able to debate and plan our next steps.

On day 1, over a picnic lunch, we discussed how we can evolve FMLM’s GP champion network. We heard from GPs in training, as well as those in early, mid and late career and there was a general consensus that our champions are well placed to facilitate local networking events around the UK.

We will be preparing resources for FMLM GP Champions to use to engage GPs local to them to tackle challenges and realise opportunities throughout their careers.

We know GPs value inspiring role models and mentorship as enablers for their personal and career development and, as we grow our GP network across the UK, our members will benefit from the support of an increasingly rich and varied pool of like-minded peers.

On day 2, after Lord Victor Adebowale’s thought-provoking, reflective keynote speech, we gathered for our first FMLM four country panel debate: Leading the Future of Primary Care. Liam Taylor, John O’Kelly, Arvind Madan and Gregor Smith represented GP leadership for Wales, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland respectively. In addition, Bruce Warner offered the national perspective of pharmacists and Jane Cryer outlined the work of NHS Collaborate, a new NHS alliance whose purpose is to develop clinical leadership in primary care provider organisations.  We were inspired by hearing from each of the panel their views on what leadership is, what enables them to be effective and resilient as leaders and how more GPs can be encouraged to embrace leadership. They shared their tip tips  and a few light bulb moments which had made the most difference to them during their leadership journeys. Ian Jackson of Ice Creates creatively captured what they said and the ensuing debate.

Questions from the audience stimulated a discussion about how many challenges relating to leading the future of primary care are shared between the four UK countries, despite the systems being different. It was agreed that we have more in common than that which divides us. There was an appetite for continuing the debate to enable shared learning and support for GP leadership across the UK enabling synergy where possible. FMLM was seen as well placed to facilitate this going forward.

The afternoon session started with Building and Enabling Medical Leadership Career Pathways, also supported by Ice Creates. Kate Langford, Deputy Medical Director at Guys and Thomas’ NHSFT and Chair of BMA Committee of Medical Managers, opened the session with an honest and inspirational description of her career journey as a doctor and medical manager and leader. We particularly enjoyed her ‘scrubsgate’ story! It was then my turn to present our FMLM work on developing GP careers through leadership including our evolving GP career map and GP Horizons, our GP leadership development frameworks. We have worked with Ice Creates to produce a visual story and the audience enjoyed hearing about our new characters, Zac, Felicity and Keith, who are GPs at different career stages, tackling various challenges and discovering opportunities thanks to FMLM’s resources and support.

We are now planning our next steps towards further engaging, inspiring, supporting and equipping GPs in leadership across the UK. We will be organising a developmental day for the GP Champion network early in the New Year.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved as a GP champion primarycare [at] (do get in touch).

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About the author

Jane Povey's picture

Jane Povey

Dr Jane Povey is a GP in Shropshire and her medical management experience includes roles as Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health Authority Medical Director. She then worked as Clinical Engagement and Leadership Director Nationally for Sir Professor Bruce Keogh and Dame Barbara Hakin supporting the design and implementation of the new commissioning system in England.

She now combines working as a GP with a number of local and national strategic roles with the aim of strengthening professional leadership in health. Over the summer of 2013 she has worked, with Dr Tariq Siddique, on a consultation through which to better understand the needs of current and potential GP leads in order to evolve a strategy as to how the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management might meet those needs.  She has (in October 2013) been appointed as a Deputy Medical Director at the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

Dr Povey firmly believes that collaborative, multi professional, inclusive and distributed leadership is the way forward to improve patient outcomes and improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. She also has a particular interest in how the creative arts can be more widely utilised to improve health and wellbeing.

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