Lakeside Healthcare Group's Chair, Dr Mike Richardson, brings attention to detail plus management expertise to the role, which he has held for 18 months .
Mike has seen at first hand the benefits of being part of a larger group, particularly for smaller surgeries, like Oundle, where he has been a GP for nearly 20 years. It was one of the first to join LHG, which now comprises 12 surgeries across the East Midlands.
'Being part of Lakeside gives us a bigger organisation to tap into with regards to recruitment, finance, training and research. It means that our individual practices are stable in terms of partner and staff recruitment and retention and by being able to incorporate new ways of working. It is about promoting the right culture and balancing the vision of what Lakeside should be, whilst retaining the individuality of each site.'
As well as catering for around 180,000 patients, Lakeside's operation includes research and clinical trials, establishing the Primary Care Skills Network which offers staff training and implementing infrastructure projects to benefit all of its practices.
This includes the introduction of a new software platform helping delivery of effective digital patient consultations which will lead to more efficient triaging of patients and enhanced tracking of cases for clinicians, while patients will benefit from online questionnaires and access to a database of healthcare advice. Oundle will be the first practice in the UK to implement the software before it is rolled out across the Group as a whole.
'At Oundle we have been keen to introduce change, such as bringing in Advanced Nurse Practitioners, but quite often patients want to see a GP, sometimes for minor issues or things that other healthcare practitioners can deal with. The new software will direct patients to the most appropriate person, which will leave more time and appointments for GPs to deal with serious or complex cases, a move which is being implemented across primary care.'
Mike's GP training, including a Certificate in Higher Professional Training in General Practice, and attention to detail, make him an ideal Chair:
'I like coming up with solutions to problems, encouraging others and working in collaboration. I have learned a lot from others and think that collaboration brings many benefits and great results. I believe in having a fair and caring practice and that approach is the same as my ideals for Lakeside Healthcare as a whole.'