Friday, 8 June 2012

Better than a day at work?

It had been a good weekend. In London with my wife to celebrate our
anniversary. Excellent restaurants, minimal shopping (an achievement)
and a much needed break. Assessment Day was on the Monday, round the
corner from the hotel and overlooking the grounds of Buckingham
Palace. This Durham boy still gets excited by London, and I wasn’t
going to let the looming assessment spoil the trip. I’d done the
numeracy and literacy tests, completed the surveys and quite
looked forward to the friendly chat about the Chair role.

I was half an hour early. Completely misjudged the 5 minutes walk
from the hotel (it looked a long way on the map, must get used to
everything being so crowded in London). Couldn’t appear too keen
so I spent a while looking for a coffee shop before giving up and checking
in. Everyone else was already there. Six of us, and I was pleased to
see some friendly faces - GPs and managers applying for Chair or
Accountable Officer roles.

                  ‘This is better than a day at work.’

If I’d assumed this was going to be a relaxing day I was wrong. I
can’t go into the detail of the day (asked not to) but I can reassure
people that it felt like a robust assessment rather than a
developmental day. Both GPs and managers, regardless of future role,
had the same process. By 4pm my hand ached from writing (how often do
we do that now?) and I felt I’d dealt with a year’s worth of CCG
challenges in 7 hours. I’m sure my partners in the practice wouldn’t view
that as a day’s work, but to me it counted.

So what was the point of the day? These are responsible roles, both
in terms of patient safety and finance. It is essential that patients
are assured that there is a process to assess competency, particularly
when CCGs are based on a membership model and local selection.  I wonder
if many will be told they are not likely to be ready for the roles.

The feedback a few days later was unnervingly accurate – more detailed
than the Top Leaders’ feedback. At least my development needs for
this year’s PDP are clear...

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