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Do we need a GP Workplace Culture and Wellbeing Index?

There are no standardised or universally recognised indices specifically designed for ranking UK general practices based on workplace culture and staff wellbeing. However, there are some initiatives and frameworks in the UK healthcare system that aim to assess and improve staff wellbeing and workplace culture. These initiatives often focus on broader aspects of healthcare organisations rather than specific general practices. Here are a few examples:

1. NHS Staff Survey: The NHS Staff Survey is an annual survey conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. It gathers feedback from NHS staff members, including those working in general practices, about their experiences at work, job satisfaction, wellbeing, and overall work culture. The survey results can help identify areas for improvement and inform local action plans.

2. General Practice Forward View (GPFV): The GPFV is a national plan developed by NHS England to support and improve general practice in England. While it doesn’t explicitly include indices for workplace culture and staff wellbeing, it addresses workforce challenges and aims to create a more supportive environment for general practice staff.

3. GP Health Service: The GP Health Service in England provides confidential mental health support and services specifically for general practitioners (GPs). It focuses on supporting the wellbeing of GPs and addressing stress, burnout, and other mental health issues within the profession.

To secure relevance of general practice in the health service and attract reputable talent, we must prioritise workplace culture, well-being, and robust accountability. We should lead on this by fostering transparency, trust, and take responsibility for creating an environment where individuals thrive and collectively excel. Real time accountability could take the form of ranking our practices using an Independent Workplace Culture and Wellbeing Index.

The closest example already being offered is the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index which can benchmark what employers are doing about mental health in the workplace and make recommendations on the areas where there’s room to improve.

GP organisations should come together to develop a robust index they all can get behind.

Here are a list of questions that can be used to capture the indices related to workplace culture and staff wellbeing in GP practices.

1. Leadership Support : How would you rate the level of support provided by practice leaders towards staff wellbeing? Do practice leaders actively promote open communication and transparency? How often do practice leaders seek input and feedback from staff regarding practice operations and decisions? Are there resources and opportunities for professional development and training provided by practice leaders?

2. Work-Life Balance : Are you satisfied with the workload distribution and allocation in your practice? Are there policies and practices in place to support flexible working options? How often do you experience work-related stress due to long working hours? Are there sufficient provisions for leave and vacation to support work-life balance?

3. Staff Engagement : Do you feel involved in decision-making processes that affect your work? Are there opportunities for professional growth and career advancement within the practice? Is your exceptional performance recognised and rewarded? How would you rate the overall level of staff morale and engagement in your practice?

4. Team Collaboration: How well do staff members collaborate and work together as a team in your practice? Are there effective communication channels in place to facilitate teamwork and collaboration? Do you feel supported and encouraged by your colleagues in your day-to-day work? Is there a sense of inclusivity and diversity within the practice team?

5. Employee Wellbeing: Are there mental health support services and resources available to staff? Have you accessed or utilised support provided by the practice? Does the practice promote and organise any wellness initiatives? How does the practice address and support the overall wellbeing of its staff members?

6. Professional Development: Are there opportunities for ongoing training and development in your practice? Have you been able to expand your skills and knowledge through practice-supported initiatives? How satisfied are you with the available resources and support for your professional development?

7. Feedback and Communication: Are there feedback mechanisms in place for staff to express concerns or suggestions? ( see video ) How often do you receive constructive feedback on your performance and professional growth? Is there regular performance evaluation and feedback process in your practice? How effectively does the practice communicate important information to staff members?

8. Work Environment: How would you rate the physical work environment, including facilities and amenities? Does the practice promote a safe and inclusive workplace culture? Are there measures in place to ensure staff comfort and productivity? How satisfied are you with the overall work environment in your practice?

These questions can be used as a starting point and can be further customised based on specific requirements and the unique characteristics of each GP practice. Conducting regular surveys and interviews with primary care staff and representatives will provide valuable insights to assess the workplace culture and staff wellbeing in GP practices. Armed with this dynamic information we can develop a ranking system that reflects our forward thinking commitment to be a reputable sector of the heath service to work in. One that can attract and retain a stable workforce.

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