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Perm J. 2011 Winter;15(1):28-34.

Practice leaders programme: entrusting and enabling general practitioners to lead change to improve patient experience.


This program focused on practice-level service change as a means of improving patient care and developing leadership skills of 19 general practitioners (GPs) and aimed to: promote and support change in leadership thinking and practice, facilitate practice-led service improvement, support career development, support continuing professional development, and contribute to the development of extended GP specialty training. Nineteen GPs, in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, both new and experienced, volunteered to participate. Milton Keynes was selected on the basis of it being an area of relative social deprivation and underperformance in national quality indicators. New and experienced GPs took part in biweekly Action Learning Sets, individual coaching, and placements with the national and local health organizations. Each participant completed a project to improve the quality of patient care. The learning sets supported the process and 11 of the GPs chose to complete a postgraduate certificate in General Practice. Evaluation consisted of analysis of development of leadership competencies recorded through Medical Leadership Competency Framework pre- and postintervention assessment, analysis of learning recorded in participants' reflective diaries, analysis of learning process recorded through participant focus groups, and analysis of learning and project outcomes recorded in project reports. Outcomes showed statistically significant increases in leadership competencies, changes in services and care, improved confidence and changed culture. GPs expressed increased confidence to "have a go" and motivation to "make a difference." This innovative narrative, complex, neuroleadership-based program continues to inform educational policy and practice, increasing leadership competencies, and to improve the quality of patient care.


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