1. Medical Coaching

Coaching GPs and Practice Managers to improve effectiveness

The Challenge

Health and social care are facing unprecedented demands. Across the world, healthcare systems are seeking solutions to deliver improved outcomes with reduced resources. The Five Year Forward View by the NHS sets out a vision for the future focused on new models of care, with an emphasis on more integration and place-based working. Demands on primary care have never been greater, yet General Practitioners (GPs) and Practice Managers (PMs) are at the heart of ‘place’ and essential in creating a sustainable health and social care system. The General Practice Forward View recognises the challenges and identifies ambitious plans to initiate significant improvements.

In order for them to be part of the solution to the current challenges, GPs need to be able to find space to think, develop resilience and manage themselves, their practice staff and their current working situations. To enable this, NHS England commissioned a programme by Beyond Coaching offering GPs the opportunity to receive two confidential one-to-one coaching sessions with a professional coach. Coaching was identified as a means to offer support that is forward-looking, action-orientated, positive and personal.  The aim of the programme was to provide time and space to think in a way that supported them to make positive changes and, not only to survive the current environment, but to flourish and enable greater levels of retention.

How it worked

After the Medical Coaching programme was agreed by NHS England, there was a series of six simple steps required to enable coaching to take place:
1
Expression of interest by GPs
2
Allocation of GPs to coaches
3
Pre-coaching guide and contract
4
Goal setting by GPs and PMs
5
Two 1:1 coaching sessions delivered
6
Evaluation with GPs and PMs

What we did

Over the space of two months Beyond Coaching delivered a total of 632, 90-minute sessions. Overall, 743 personal goals were identified; the most common goals that GPs chose to work on were: practice leadership, developing clarity about career plans and direction, improving personal effectiveness and efficiency, and reducing stress and anxiety.
Coaching creates a real and immediate impact for GPs and PMs, enabling them to:

  • Move from a feeling of being stuck with no options or choice to feeling empowered
  • Clarify areas of influence and concern, accepting what they can’t change and work with what they can
  • Unlock motivation – aligning their intellect and energy to what they are passionate about
  • Build confidence to want to engage with and make changes, to make better decisions for themselves, their practice and patients
  • Facilitate quality time to think and have their mindsets and perceptions challenged
  • Build resilience so that they can be, think, diagnose and treat well, and work with the wider system

professional coaches

GPs and PMs coached

coaching sessions delivered

The Results

The results of this coaching programme demonstrate consistent improvements on all goals. For many GPs, coaching helped them to gain personal insight, and build self-confidence, and improve personal effectiveness (see the numbers below). For those GPs and PMs who were not coping well, coaching led to a greater sense of control and improved resilience. For GPs and PMs who were coping but needed some additional support, coaching enabled them to work on improving their personal effectiveness, work-life balance, relationships and practice leadership. For those who were already in a confident place and running sustainable practices, coaching provided opportunities to increase their personal effectiveness, leadership and relationships and consider how they wished to step into wider roles in system leadership.

The Numbers

After just 2 coaching sessions, GPs and PMs made significant improvements:

%

reported a positive impact of coaching on themselves

%

were able to achieve a better work-life balance

%

improved personal effectiveness and efficiency

%

Had a reduction in their levels of stress and anxiety

%

improved the effectiveness of their communication

%

reduction in likelihood of leaving General Practice

What some of the GPs and PMs said

I found the coaching sessions a wonderful opportunity to reflect on a number of aspects of my work and personal life in a safe space and with guidance from a clearly experienced coach. I have put into practice some of the strategies discussed and am enthused to work on others.

This was my first introduction to coaching and something I would recommend and be keen to do more of.

Before the coaching I was stressed out about the long hours at work and feeling somewhat out of control. The coaching helped me to evaluate my work/life balance and come up with clear plans on how to make steps to improve this. I also reflected on my leadership skills and how to move to where I want to be as a leader in the future. As a result of the coaching I have very clear goals to both improve my work-life balance and make myself more organised at work.

The first session was a real eye opener and helped me identify some key areas to improve, the second session helped me realise how I had taken on board what we had identified, applied them and improved myself, and a plan going forward.

It was also very insightful to look at the theory and that helped me put things into place.

Need our help?

If you would like our help in enabling your Medical, Health and Social Care professionals to perform at their best through coaching and leadership development, please contact us via the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

1 + 2 =