Practice managers' time is always in short supply, but those who have struggled to submit their entries for the Management in Practice Awards 2009 need not panic – the deadline for receipt of entries has been extended to 12 June 2009.
The Management in Practice Awards were launched last year with the aim of celebrating and highlighting excellence in general practice management across the UK. With this in mind, we're keen for as many of you to come forward as possible and help us tell the good story of how GP teams are making such a difference to their patients' lives across the UK.
We're also aware that many of you may be unsure if you qualify for an award or not. It's almost certain that you do, so if in doubt please come forward and talk to us about it – see details in the box below.
Why enter the MiP Awards? All too often, GPs and GP practices enter the headlines for the wrong reasons, and primary care finds itself the subject of negative coverage. The sad result of "GP-bashing" is that the good work you do on a daily basis does not receive the attention it deserves.
We want to change this – and by submitting a short entry to the Management in Practice Awards 2009, we can help you celebrate your achievements and give you and your team the credit for the vital work that you do, as well as bringing the news of your success to our UK-wide management readership, who may benefit from hearing about how you have enhanced patient care in your practice.
It's most likely you've achieved something recently that could win you a MiP Award. For instance, in the last issue of MiP, the results of our online IT survey revealed dozens of surgeries had enabled online patient registration, email consultations and had set up informative websites – each of these practices would be eligible for the IM&T Award (see below).
Furthermore, initiatives that, for instance, have encouraged team motivation, improved the practice environment or meant involvement in successful practice-based commissioning projects would mean you are eligible for other categories. So make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to celebrate and share good practice.
Applications are invited from individual practice managers or practice teams who have undertaken projects in any one of the below categories:
Furthermore, the Practice of the Year Award recognises an overall primary healthcare team achievement.
Training and HR Award
Modern general practice is no longer just about the GPs, but demands the input of a cohesive, multidisciplinary practice team. Staff motivation and cultivating a strong team ethic is therefore a vital skill of the successful practice manager. Nominations will be invited from practices and their staff on the creative use of innovative training schemes, as well as examples of sound teambuilding and staff management.
Customer Care Award
Today's focus on "patient choice" means practices are encouraged to speak to their patients, request feedback and work to provide the services that their patients demand. While the QOF looks at the qualitative delivery of care, this award will recognise individual practices that are working towards a complete understanding of their patients' needs.
Design and Facilities – Clark Weightman Award
The development of integrated health centres and large partnerships has meant a fall in the number of small, cramped surgeries. Health centres are now increasingly custom-built or renovated to ensure that the building's facilities can cope with new demands of additional primary care services. This award will recognise the most innovative new build or renovation of a primary care surgery.
Information Management and Technology – iQ Business Award
IT technology has revolutionised general practice. Practice websites, GP2GP, electronic prescriptions and summary care records are just a few developments designed to enhance patient services and the working lives of the practice staff.
More and more practices are now "paper light" and seek enhanced efficiency through computerised notes and records. This award seeks to find the most innovative applications of new technology in a primary care setting.
Business Management – Away from my desk Award
In many ways, individual GP practices have developed from small public services to entrepreneurial businesses – this is reflected in the increasing appointments of "business managers" to GP surgeries.
This award, though, is open to all practice managers taking advantage of new opportunities for developing their practice – for instance by providing new services through involvement in practice-based commissioning – and creating new income streams.
Practice of the Year – Wyeth Award
This award looks for overall success in general practice, and seeks to recognise the practice team that has had the biggest positive impact on all aspects of surgery management, from patient care delivery and systems implementation, to staff motivation and budget management.
How to enter
Projects will be evaluated on the below criteria:
Projects will need to have been completed/implemented during the past 18 months.
We invite all practice managers and teams to enter. The closing date for receipt of all nominations is 12 June 2009.
Applicants are asked to submit a written overview of their project of between 300 and 1,500 words following guidelines available to download at www.managementinpractice.com/awards. Independent panels of judges, as listed above, will review all unnamed projects and select winners according to the individual award criteria. The top five projects will be invited to an interview in person or by conference call with the panel judges.
As well as the opportunity to have your work reviewed by leaders in primary care, the top three projects will also be presented with a certificate of achievement, and the winner of each award will be announced at our awards ceremony taking place at the Management in Practice Birmingham Event at the NEC on 6 October 2009.
For more information on these awards, see www.managementinpractice.com/awards