Diane Simes, who is enjoying her new role as Transformation Manager at Lakeside Stamford practice, is looking forward to implementing systems to make rapid and sustained improvements to patient services.
She, and the management team, are improving core areas of telephony, the staffing structure and the appointment booking system to ensure that patients can contact the practice quickly, be directed to the most appropriate practitioner and easily schedule convenient appointments.
Diane, who has previously overseen changes as practice manager at an inner-city surgery, taking it to a CQC Outstanding rating, has a strategic vision and a proven track record in innovation. She said: 'I am positive, think strategically and see solutions and establishing good communications with individual patients, the Patient Participation Group and Clinical Commissioning Group is crucial.'
She says the key to transforming services is to recognise the good practice already in place while being realistic about areas for improvement and says one of Stamford's strengths is its hardworking team of staff: 'We all want to provide a good service for patients, that is our core aim and so it is important that the team feels part of something positive that is getting better. The most important thing is to get staff and patients to trust you and plan things in a measured and sensible way.
'We recognise where the issues are and generally people understand that we are addressing those. The vast majority of patients understand our constraints, especially during Covid, and we want to reassure them that we are putting in a range of changes and transforming the way they access services while not losing the great GPs, nurses and administration staff that we have here.'
Diane has been appointed for a six-month contract: 'When people are working so hard they tend to be focused on the task in hand, so my role is to come in with fresh eyes and look at new ways of doing things.
'When patients phone up through an effective and robust phone system they should be offered appointments within a reasonable length of time, either on the day for urgent appointments, or else in advance for non-urgent cases so there is flexibility for patients, and not a huge surge in calls at one time.
'I would like the practice to also consider the range of practitioners they employ, the potential change for patient demographic with more young families potentially moving into the town and I'd like to leave behind a team that is working together at levels appropriate to their skills and qualifications. The people here are a really committed team and our best asset. I hope that the practice, and the patients really support them as we all seek to make rapid and positive changes.'