Staff Training: Why It’s A No-Brainer for Every Practice

Day in, day out, me and my team are out training and chatting to GP practice teams across the country. As a GP myself, I’m no stranger to the fast-moving world of general practice.

To say we encounter a phenomenal mountain of work on a daily basis is an understatement!

Everyone feels the pressure.

And it’s practice staff on the frontline that often bear the brunt of frustration from patients and the constant need to be able to respond swiftly to requests.

So just thinking about the sheer workload you’ve faced as a practice since the New Year, can you be sure that your staff have received the training they need to support them in their roles right now?

If your practice manages to tick along every day, it’s easy to assume that you don’t need to think about training (“not this month, Matt – our new receptionist is a whizz with the patients” I heard the other day). However, investing in your staff by providing ongoing training could make a surprising, sustainable difference.

If you’re already running ongoing training, I’m preaching to the converted, but here are a few of the reasons why I’ve found staff training as a GP is so essential for the practice teams I work with:

Protecting Staff

Stress can be a big problem for all employees working within the NHS, and research suggests that many are considering leaving their role as a result.

While you can’t do much to summon up surplus resources out of thin air, there are some steps you can take to make the most of what you have. Training helps staff to maximise the skills and knowledge available collectively as a team and to be more effective with the time at their disposal. This creates a positive cycle where staff become more efficient and feel less stressed as a result, which in turn improves efficiency further – and so on.

With rising workloads and unrelenting pressure, it’s important that our frontline staff feel valued and appreciated. By taking the time to invest in their personal development, you will not only help to improve practice efficiency, but morale will improve as well.

Future-Proof Your Practice

Balancing the books can be difficult for GP practices and this means that no-one has lots of spare staff floating around. If someone leaves, it can leave an instant and sometimes painful long gap in frontline services. Struggling to train someone new while maintaining business as usual can be almost impossible.

Cross-training staff isn’t just good for personal development, it’s also beneficial for the practice. By having multiple people within the practice trained across various roles, it means you won’t have a sudden gap in the event of long-term illness or resignation.

Training isn’t just about sideways movement either; it also provides the opportunity for proactive succession planning. By preparing individuals for promotion, you will be future-proofing your practice across the board.

Keeping Up with Industry Standards

Even though your staff might be doing a stellar job and delivering an excellent service, there’s still a need to keep up with changes in the industry and the wider NHS.

Training can help your staff to keep up with industry best practice and also stay abreast of regulatory updates. Whether it’s training frontline staff on areas such as GDPR or updating practice managers on changes to employment law, it’s essential that everyone is up to date on the crucial knowledge within their role.

Delivering A Service That Stands Out

No-one is doubting that your staff do their absolute best, but providing them with a diverse range of training can help them to provide a service that really stands out in the community.

Many practices focus on the practical elements, such as customer service or how to operate the phones, but don’t provide staff with training on the soft skills. Whether that’s time management to handle the plethora of emails in our inbox or people skills, taking a more rounded approach to include all the different areas of training could make the service something very special indeed.

Not sure where to start first? In my experience, if you ask your team, they’ll quickly tell you where the gaps are.

Ready for a Bespoke Approach?

Every practice will have different training needs depending on the level of experience of the staff, and their existing skills. Here at Orr Medical Training, we can help to design the right training package for your practice, helping to ease the burden and boost morale all around.

Get in touch today for a no-obligation discussion.

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