"GPs tell us they want to spend more time with patients and less time on bureaucracy, while patients say they want better access to GPs when they really need them.

We have listened and, I believe, that working together we will give patients the right care in the right place. Patient safety is at the very heart of this project / guiding principle of this project.”

Health Secretary, Shona Robison

The Scottish Government has commissioned Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Primary Care team to establish and run a GP Practice Administrative Staff Collaborative. This is the first time that this type of collaborative has been created with a discreet focus on the work and role of GP Practice Administrative Staff in helping to improve the overall outcomes and care experience for people and their families.

This new collaborative aims to develop the skills and role of practice administrative teams in GP practice settings to help improve the patient experience.

The initial collaborative will run from February 2018 to March 2019 and to date the collaborative has amassed a high level of national interest from Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs).

As part of this initial trial, four HSCPs have been selected to take part in this improvement journey over the next year: Argyll & Bute HSCP; Clackmannashire and Stirling & Falkirk HSCPs (join application); East Lothian HSCP and South Lanarkshire & North Lanarkshire HSCPs (joint application).

The collaborative will contribute directly to the broader transformation of Primary Care services and supports ambitions outlined in The 2018 General Medical Services Contract in Scotland and Improving Together (2017), specifically in relation to the professional development of Practice Managers and reception staff.

Gareth Adkins, Head of Improvement Support, Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Improvement Hub:

“The collaborative aims to improve the overall outcomes and care experience for people and their families. This will be achieved through testing approaches to the enhancement of non-clinical roles in GP practice teams to improve practice processes, optimising workflow and care navigation.

Each participating HSCP will involve up to four GP clusters that will take part in a range of quality improvement activities. They will be supported to test, measure and share their learning, and where appropriate, spread improvements made to service delivery with the wider network of practice administrative teams in the Primary Care system.”

Improvement Hub, Primary Care Portfolio Lead, Jill Gillies:

“Those working in primary care know the crucial role of the GP practice administration team plays and we are delighted to be supporting a collaborative that aims to develop the skills and role of the practice administrative staff.

The high level of interest in this collaborative is indicative of the important role our GP practice administration teams undertake. To meet demand we have increased the scope and scale of the collaborative from 3 partnerships to work with 4 Health and Social Care Partnerships.

Throughout this collaborative, the ihub’s Primary Care Portfolio will draw upon the vast experience of the wider primary care workforce supporting GPs in Scotland and deliver learning sessions to support the network and share the learning at every opportunity across the wider system.”

Anne Ribet, Practice Manager Professional Advisor for the Primary Care Portfolio said,

“A vast amount of knowledge and expertise exists within the administrative team of any GP practice and it is exciting to be part of a new collaborative which aims to support the development of the skills and roles of those staff. This is a great opportunity to improve the overall care experience for patients and staff by working together and sharing learning.”