Originally published in Independent Practitioner Today in March 2023, our Managing Director Jane Braithwaite summarises the ten main considerations to ensure your group has maximum potential for success.
What makes a successful group? The guidelines for creating and maintaining a successful group reflect similar ones that would be set for any team of people working together.
Undoubtedly, a successful group is one motivated by the shared core values of its members. When your group shares the same sense of purpose, they celebrate and champion each other, creating a culture of excellence within the business.
1) Agreed goals and objective
When the group was formed, the group members agreed on the group’s goals and objectives. Each group member documented this agreement in writing and signed to signify their understanding and commitment. This important document is referred to as their contract and they took advice from their accountant and lawyer to ensure all eventualities were catered for. This activity gives the group clear direction and a common aim to work towards collectively. When any change is made to the group – for example, a member leaving or a new member joining – the contract is updated to reflect this. Clearly defined goals enable everyone within the group to maintain a clear vision of what the group is aiming to achieve.
A group is usually a partnership where all members are of equal standing. But a successful one will have nominated one individual to act as the group leader or managing partner. This is often the group founder, the person who originally created the concept of the group, or it may have been a joint decision, choosing the individual with the greatest leadership skills. The leader is trusted and respected by the group members and encourages everyone to work collaboratively. The leader also encourages a positive work environment and work ethic. Ultimately, the leader is required to ensure good decisions are made in a timely manner. This is especially important when consensus cannot be reached promptly.
Every month, the group members meet to discuss the performance of the group. They communicate openly with each other, sharing their thoughts, opinions and ideas and they take time to consider what others have to say. On a daily basis, the group members are open and honest in their communications, highlighting concerns or issues and enabling them to be addressed before they become bigger problems. Everyone trusts one another and feels able to speak up. This continuing open dialogue helps ensure that conflict is mostly avoided, but when conflict does occur, it is handled professionally.
4) Clear responsibilities
Everyone recognises that running the group is equivalent to running a business, which brings additional responsibilities. The group has identified the relevant management roles and responsibilities and has allocated these fairly across the group members. Everyone contributes their fair share towards the workload of running the group and each individual understands their responsibilities and where they fit in with the overall running of the business. This helps to prevent overlap, miscommunication and misunderstanding. They take ownership of their area, are committed to their work and they care about the success of the group overall.
5) Clearly defined financial model
When the group was formed, its financial model was clearly defined and described in the contract that each group member signed. Each individual has clarity on how their financial rewards will be calculated and, therefore, clearly understands how their work contributes to their financial success. Rewards are fair and unbiased and represent the hard work and contribution made by each individual. The agreed financial model is motivating and increases job satisfaction. The agreements made were realistic and expectations were met. It was understood that, like any business, the group would take time to establish itself and the financial rewards may take time to build. The group regularly discusses and reviews financial performance throughout the year to ensure a clear understanding of progress made and how this impacts each individual to avoid any surprises at year end.
When important decisions need to be made, the group members can openly discuss their views and contribute to making the best decision for the group overall. When there is disagreement, the group members actively listen to each opinion and aim to compromise to reach an agreement. When needed, the nominated leader of the group can make the decision, and the group members respect and support the decision. A lack of decision-making can be damaging. It is critical that people communicate their concerns, have a clear vision of where they are headed and make decisions. Not everyone may agree on the decision, the tactics or how to work together, but still the team must make a decision and move forward.
7) Consistent standards of patient care
The group members share a common view on the level of care that their patients should receive and aim to deliver a similar patient experience. When the group was formed, the clinicians discussed their views on patient experience and agreed on standards of care that the group would commit to delivering and they adhere to these expectations daily. This enables them to feel comfortable referring their patients to their colleagues within the group for additional treatments and to care for each other’s patients during periods of absence and holidays. When a patient complaint is made, the group reviews the complaint together and investigates the causes openly and honestly. There is no blame, so the discussion focuses on how to manage the situation to achieve the best outcome for this particular patient and how to learn from this event and improve processes to prevent a recurrence. All group members commit to continual learning to ensure their knowledge is up to date. They share their expertise widely within the team and aim to enhance everyone’s skill sets.
8) Organised, disciplined and well-managed
Each clinician professionally manages their own practice. The administration is well managed and patient communication is exceptional. The business itself is also run in an organised and disciplined manner. Each group member manages their responsibilities diligently and delivers their work to the agreed deadlines. Each group member is respectful of others by attending meetings on time and submitting their contributions on time. Regular meetings are held to ensure everyone is on the same page and deadlines are being met,
The doctors perform well as a team and the group exhibits a collaborative work environment. Each group member has a positive attitude and work ethic, and the group is efficient and productive. No single individual dominates discussions and each person has an equal opportunity to be heard. The culture of the group is supportive, with each group member actively supporting others when needed; for example, when one individual is under pressure with their workload or facing a difficult clinical decision. Each clinician has different expertise and experience, utilised across the group through collaboration. This diversity is respected and embraced to offer patients the best possible care.
Within a truly successful group, the doctors enjoy their work and they enjoy working together, having a sense of achievement and of fun. They enjoy the company of their colleagues and value their discussions, both clinical and business related. Positive relationships built across the group help create a relaxed environment and reduce conflict. The group members have constructive chats about work-life balance and they encourage one another to maintain a healthy balance, recognising this helps prevent burn-out and ensures they are all able to perform to the best of their abilities.
MD of Designated Medical
If you need any advice, please do contact the team at Designed Medical.
In this month’s edition of Stay Connected, our Head of Accountancy has taken the work out of the Government’s mini budget and gives you the salient details of how it will affect you and your practice.
When was the last time you analysed your patient journey or even how your business functions in general? This month we look at how you can best do this to ensure your practice thrives!
We have examined how you can streamline and improve your patient journey to make onboarding new patients easier and ensure that they return to your practice long-term, helping boost patient retention and increase profits.
Our specialists have examined how strategic reviews can benefit your practice, helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Conducting a well-rounded evaluation across all elements of your business can help you adapt and grow and remove any issues before they become detrimental.
And finally, we know that NHS wait times are encouraging people to turn to private medical care. We have looked at 5 things private practices should consider to meet the needs of self-pay patients to help grow your practice and ensure their needs can be met.
Designated Medical Team.
Hello and welcome to the July edition of our newsletter.
he sun is shining and everyone’s getting ready for the first Summer of restriction-free travel, more importantly, business seems to be booming for many of you, which is great to see!
For the last few months, one of the top news stories each day has been related to the increasing cost of living in the UK. In this issue, we are taking a more in-depth look at the cost-of-living crisis and what this means for employers.
Our Managing Director, Jane Braithwaite has also been busy answering Independent Practitioners’ FAQs on how to take advantage of the self-pay boom to increase your profitability and grow your business.
We would like to round up the issue by introducing you to our management team who head up our specialist teams across the business.
We are here to help provide professional services and advice for your business’, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the March edition of our newsletter.
e have a lot to cover this month so we’ll jump right in! Our HR and Recruitment Manager has written an insightful article this month on diversity and inclusion. We shine a light on recruitment tools, resources and techniques to help meet your diversity goals.
We take advice from experts at XERO on how to manage cash flow and income, particularly in these inflating and politically turbulent times.
At Designated we are delighted to introduce our newest member to the leadership team. Our new Head of Medical PA Services, Jo Mitchelson. I’m sure she will be in touch with you all shortly. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with her at email@example.com
Finally a few admin notes, we have updated the company terms and conditions and these are available on our websites should you wish to review them.
Going forward we will be distributing our newsletters on a quarterly basis, this helps us to ensure we are serving up the most valuable content and information within every communication.
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the February edition of our newsletter.
Where has the year gone already?! We do hope you have gotten off to a good start though, and business is going well. In this months newsletter, we’re talking HR, Recruitment and Accountancy. In a new series for The Independent Practitioner Today, our Managing Director, Jane Braithwaite answers reader questions relating to running and staffing a private practice. This month looks at the responsibilities around hiring a personal assistant from an employers perspective. This ties quite nicely to our next article on how the recruitment process of a new team member isn’t over once the contract is signed, induction is still a major part of the process and how the first few months are highly important for both parties. Finally, we look at some of the recent HMRC announcements and what this means for private practitioners.
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the January edition of our newsletter.
The New Year is an ideal time to take a fresh look at your business operations and make any changes to areas you feel are stagnant or not working as efficiently as they should. In this months newsletter our Managing Director, Jane Braithwaite shares an article originally written for Independent Practitioner Today on ‘How to get off to a good start in 2022’.
With that in mind, we are launching a January competition for all of our existing clients and contacts to help you kick start 2022! Read below to find out more.
Continuing our focus on HR, we look at writing your employer value proposition. Research from Gartner discovered: Organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%”
So getting it written is a great step into 2022!
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the November edition of our newsletter.
In this months newsletter we focus on HR & Recruitment. It’s likely we’ve all experienced a virtual interview at some point in our careers, whether that’s on the side of the hiring manager or the candidate. We have put together an extensive list of top tips to ensure your video call, is the best it can be.
We also go back to basics as we look at writing and posting a job description. It isn’t always as easy as one might think! Our tips will help you produce a great job advert and help you stand out from the crowd.
If you’re interested in learning more about our HR and Recruitment solutions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the October edition of our newsletter.
In this months newsletter, we spotlight the events industry. After what has felt like a never-ending hiatus, events calendars seem to be filling up once again. This year people gathered for some of the biggest, global sporting events such as The UEFA European Football Championship as well as the Tokyo Olympics.
Though opinions were divided on such events happening whilst we were still struggling with Covid-19, these in-person gatherings gave the green light for other industries outside of the sporting world, to start planning their own, much smaller events.
We look at the future of medical events, 2022 onwards and discuss buzzwords such as hybrid, virtual and live to see what these mean for organisers going forward.
If you’re planning your marketing and events activities and would like some support, please don’t hesitate to contact us, perhaps we can help you.
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the September edition of our newsletter.
e hope that you’ve all found some time to relax and recharge over the summer months. We find that taking time out helps us to re-focus our efforts and prioritise what’s really important.
In this months newsletter, Managing Director Jane Braithwaite shares what it takes to be listed on topdoctors.co.uk. From the closely guarded, unique algorithm that helps select its members to create the most professional looking profile.
We also talk finances. How many of you know the difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping? When you don’t work in Finance it can be difficult to know where the line is drawn. This month our Accountant helps us to distinguish the differences.
Finally, we have some positive news to share. Designated Medical has been awarded ‘best medical services provider in the UK’ by Global Health & Pharma Magazine (GHP)!
As always, we are here to help you. If there is anything we can do to support you or your practice, then please don’t hesitate to let us know by contacting us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Designated Medical Team
Hello and welcome to the August edition of our newsletter.
We hope you are enjoying the summer and finding some time to relax and enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.
This month we discuss the opportunities that exist outside the NHS for those looking for alternative healthcare careers. Originally written for Independent Practitioner Today, Jane Braithwaite looks at data that came from the BMA report earlier this summer, It said: ‘Thousands of exhausted doctors in the UK have told the BMA they are considering leaving the NHS in the next year, as many continue to battle stress and burnout without adequate respite from the exhaustion caused by the demands of the pandemic.’ Responses came from over 4,000 doctors.
We also look at some of the reasons why doctors and nurses are flocking to Instagram, finding new ways to reach and connect with their patients. If it’s something you’ve been considering as part of your marketing we encourage you to read the full article on our insights blog.
If there is anything we can help you with to lighten the load across PA, Accountancy, Marketing, HR & Recruitment, then please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Designated Medical Team