Well, 1 April has come and gone for another year. But I felt even more of an April fool this time around!
Having changed computer systems last November, we were very anxious to ensure that all Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) points previously recorded would be recognised by the new system. This entailed even more checking than usual, right up to the wire on 31 March.
However, despite being sure we had recorded the maximum points possible, when checking the Quality Management and Analysis System (QMAS) the points didn't seem to add up. So now there is a further job to do – negotiating with the PCT!
Unfortunately, both the practices I manage suffered in the same way, so it meant double jeopardy. And with more changes to the QOF this year, it really does seem like we are April fools on an annual basis.
The 1 April spells a new year for most of us and for me it is the start of my second year managing two practices (it really is frightening how time flies by – faster and faster as you get older!).
Having reviewed the year, both practices felt the arrangement to be working to their satisfaction, which was flattering, and I have also enjoyed the experience. All have agreed to carry on the arrangement and to indeed have greater links between the two practices, so now I can get down to some serious planning.
Although we appear to be getting some increase in income this year, being able to reduce expenditure will be more and more important I think. Sharing some functions between the practices will hopefully help us here. Both practices have many staff approaching retirement age – so eventually we will be able to make several changes!
Some changes may come sooner rather than later, as we seem to having a few staff problems at the moment; team spirit seems to be decidedly lacking, despite the Easter Bunny visiting both practices. Whether it will be improved when budgets are reviewed and decisions are made about any cost-of-living pay increases is yet to be seen; possibly I think not!
However, this sort of thing is what we managers are for and do best, and keeping all these plates spinning is certainly what keeps me going; I hope it does it for you too.