Careers in General Practice in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire
Fallodon Way Medical Centre aspires to be a professional, friendly organisation dedicated to providing high quality personalised medical care to all members of the practice community.
Part of the North and West Bristol locality, the practice is small but home to all of the essential facilities. Recent investments include a dedicated admin extension and a new sluice.
Each doctor has their own consulting room and there is a suite of five rooms for nurses, including a minor surgery suite.
The practice also currently provides family planning, research, training, and an extensive minor surgery service. Participation in any of these activities might be developed by those so interested.
Normal clinics include a mixture of routine and urgent cases, with ‘emergency’ extras shared equally between doctors. The practice offers 15 minutes for complex cases and 10 minutes for routine matters. Each session has a “duty doctor” who is expected to deal with any urgent issues that arise with appointments blocked out to allow time for this to happen. The Care Coordinator pre-checks all home visit requests and attends the daily noon home visits allocation meeting, with GPs and the pharmacist. More than one home visit a day for each GP is unusual.
The Doctors, Care Coordinator and Pharmacist meet each day at noon to chat and allocate visits. There is a practice meeting every Wednesday lunchtime (with lunch) for all GPs. There are bi-monthly clinical/educational meeting on Friday. There are also periodic “all practice” meetings, usually on a Friday lunchtime where lunch is also provided.
Fallodon Way is part of the “Affinity” cluster of practices. A loose federation of practices, Affinity provides improved access surgeries with access to each other’s medical records. Practices also share staff and are jointly developing new services. The practices are working on shared resilience and have some shared telephony and IT.
The Affinity cluster of practices hold evening networking meetings for all GPs twice a year. These are hosted by each practice on a rotational basis.
A genuinely friendly, informal practice with very good staff relationships, Fallodon Way has a clear ‘can do’ attitude. Staff members are experienced, enthusiastic and enjoy working here.
The team aims to inject fun into every day while working hard, ensuring that all enjoy as much of the time they spend at work as is possible.
Taking a one team approach, GPs, nurses and non-clinicians all work together for the common good.
Staff report that they enjoy working here more so than other practices they have experienced.
In addition to the well-attended Christmas and summer parties, there is also a regular staff newsletter and management/partners are accessible.
Weekly practice meetings normally include an MDT guest e.g. community nurses, local hospice, dementia wellbeing service, to discuss specific cases and pathway development.
The practice shares lead roles amongst all GPs e.g. research, family planning, child safe-guarding and these GPs are available for advice.
Access to an in-house pharmacist also aids learning, while a bi-monthly clinical meeting involves all clinical staff, with educational sessions and opportunities to discuss significant events, educational needs etc.
The practice works hard to be family friendly and can be flexible when significant need arises.
All current staff are part-time and some are job sharers.
The practice tries to share out the early starts/late evenings so that everyone works only their fair share.
Extended hours/improved access weekend working is undertaken by staff who have volunteered to work these hours.
The practice provides at least the statutory requirements for maternity, paternity and adoption leave and will consider bespoke solutions to individual needs.
Practice sick pay arrangements are generous and the team endeavours to support staff during times of need.
Fallodon Way develops staff to meet the practice needs. The approach is to try to develop staff internally to fulfill new/larger roles. A recent example of this is the recent appointment of a non-clinical “care coordinator”, who helps the GPs support the frail and the elderly.
In addition to meeting staff, having a building tour, and covering H&S and payroll requirements, each new joiner will have a bespoke induction tailored to their individual role. This might include specific in-house and external training. For clinicians it is likely to include shared sessions plus mentoring time.
Part-time GPs are ‘buddied’ to deal with results received on those days they are absent from work.
All GPs have one weeks’ paid study leave and a pro-rata training allowance of £500. Each GP has a session allocated for preparation for and another for attending their annual appraisal. The practice will organise supervised sessions where needed for e.g. supervised coil fitting.
Other staff members are offered continuous training dependent upon the needs of the individual and the practice. A training plan is included within the annual appraisal. Much standard training is provided by e-learning, but external courses are provided where appropriate.
Deprivation within the practice’s catchment area is low but there is a very high proportion of elderly patients.
In 2016 the NHS GP survey rated Fallodon Way as the practice with overall highest patient satisfaction in Bristol. In 2017, we were in the top 5 rated practices. Our Friends and Family ratings are extremely high. We are a highly respected practice within the community that we serve.