The Monday Morning Quote #534

“Without promotion something terrible will happen – nothing.”

PT Barnum

The Monday Morning Quote #532

“Every time you are tempted to react in the old way, ask if you want to be a Prisoner of the Past or a Pioneer of the Future.

Deepak Chopra

Clinical freedom in a time of austerity.

First published online in Dentistry Blog on 8th April 2019. Full article.

Clinical freedom is becoming an aspiration rather than reality.

I regularly have to straddle a line between what principals need and what associates want, whilst attempting to keep both sides happy.

Often this involves money and the phrase ‘clinical freedom’.

Amongst the things they never teach you at dental school is that you must cover your costs before you can take anything out for yourself.

Increasing overheads makes this hard.

For instance, a 13% increase in CQC fees to ‘better align the cost of regulation’ must be borne by business owners.

As far as NHS practices are concerned, the minimal rise in fees during a decade of austerity have been swamped by rising costs.

Where contracts are fixed and consume a week’s full-time work to achieve them, there is little or no room for increasing productivity.

Associates, who have the dubiously privileged position of being self-employed, must take their share of the repeated squeezes on practice owners.

Either earn more (difficult with a fixed contract) or cost less.

Because previous generations earned a bigger slice than you, unfortunately does not mean that there is any divine right.

In any profession it is time and expertise for which people pay.

The third party fee setter (the NHS) took a set of fees from a decade and a half ago and continues to run with them.

This ignores the flexibility and evolution that existed in the dental contracts for nearly six decades, which helped practices stay agile in order to remain profitable.

Sometimes these money pressures are manifested in a reduction in quality of working conditions; for instance equipment might not be maintained, materials and laboratories are chosen on cost and choice is limited and staff might be ‘bargain basement’.

As the first casualty of war is truth, so clinical freedom can become an aspiration rather than a reality.

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

The recent CIPD research in partnership with Simply Health was completed in November 2018 and covered more than 3.2 million employees across the UK.

The top causes of long term sickness were mental ill health & stress with 59% & 54% respectively.

 

 

The top three causes of stress related illness are:

  • Workloads / volume of work.  62%
  • Management style.   43%
  • Relationships at work. 30%

Your style as a manager needs to vary depending upon the different environments and employees. Management styles can be categorised as autocratic, democratic and laissez faire. What do you think your’s is?

If you need help with either your own management style or your managers’ style then drop me a line at alunrees@mac.com – it’s what I’m here for.

The full report is available here.

CIPD’s Top tips to support managers to minimise stress in their teams is available here.

 

 

Patient? Customer? Client? What really matters.

An interesting conversation in a practice about what the people that are treated/served/cared for should be called. I have been around the block a couple of times over the past 30 odd years and have returned to, and will remain with, patients. But that’s my opinion, you use whatever is comfortable for you.

“We sometimes make assumptions based on our opinions about a customer’s Patient’s wants and needs.

It’s hard to be objective about our ideas when we are invested in the outcome.

But that shouldn’t stop us trying to stand in our customer’s Patient’s shoes for long enough to understand how he feels.

Our opinion is immaterial if it doesn’t align with the story the customer Patient believes.”

Adapted from Bernadette Jiwa.

Productive moi?

When analysing dental businesses and individual team members I try to keep in mind “5 E”s that apply to successful clinical practice, effective, ergonomic, economic, ethical, efficient. I have always believed that principals, and those who truly have “skin in the game” perform better on most, if not all, of the “5 E”s.

The workforce generally could learn a lot from some of my case studies.

RBS Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Shifting sands

Harder, better, faster, stronger?  Hardly.  Yet another year has passed without any productivity growth in the UK.  In fact, output per hour worked actually fell 0.2% over the year to Q4 2018.  The only reason the economy grew at all was because more people worked than ever before.  Yet each worker now produces a mere 2% more than before the 2008 recession struck (whereas our American cousins are churning out 15% more every hour worked).  Bad news is that the awful run is unlikely to let-up soon; both weak investment and slowing trade are likely to drag on productivity growth in 2019.

If you’re in Dublin on March 2nd

My maternal grandparents would be proud of me being selected for Croke Park. I’ll not be gracing the hallowed turf with my prowess with sliotar and hurley. Instead I’ll be up on level 5 in the Hogan suite on the 5th Floor with a Taster session of “The 101 Things They Didn’t Teach You At Dental School”.

%d bloggers like this: