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Doctors increasingly step beyond the conventional boundaries of clinical practice and take up managerial responsibilities, with positions in research, teaching and professional standards in both primary and secondary care. The development of PCNs (primary care networks) in general practice has created new positions for clinical directors, while posts for associate and medical directors in secondary care have also grown exponentially.
These are all important opportunities for us, as healthcare professionals, to influence how our NHS and healthcare services are organised and run. As a medical manager myself, I have always advocated the beneficial role of good medical management in the NHS. Doctors who have trained as managers can have a positive impact by putting patient care at the centre, and a good manager will bring out the best in their team and workforce.
Medical management roles can be very rewarding – they give us the opportunity to make a difference not only by enhancing care on an individual basis, but also by contributing to improvements in healthcare on a wider scale. We have an intrinsic leadership role within the NHS, and this allows us to take clinical care and the profession forward.
Currently there is no nationally agreed standard that covers medical managers, so the transition from a traditional clinical role to a managerial post is not always smooth. The lack of a national contract has meant managerial responsibilities are sometimes just added onto our already busy clinical schedules. We have increasingly seen situations across the UK where the contractual framework of these new posts is not very clearly defined, and responsibilities become blurred.
It is important for doctors in these medical management roles, in which they are not protected by nationally agreed terms and conditions, to be aware of their rights and check that the employment offer and their working arrangements are fit for purpose.
The CMM (committee for medical managers), has developed contractual guidance to support medical managers in the NHS. Our guidance aims to ensure all medical managers receive appropriate employment terms and conditions, and to help you navigate these responsibilities.
The guidance includes information on what to look out for in a contract, examples of case studies, and a checklist to consider when engaging in a new employment arrangement.
Access the guidance
Who is the CMM?
The CMM is made up of and represents medically qualified managers working in primary care, secondary care, community care and public health.
It supports medical managers by:
Find out more about the committee’s members, objectives and projects it’s working on: Overview of the CMM
Need further advice?
Professional contract advice is available as part of BMA membership by contacting the BMA or using the medical managers advisory service.
Michael Rees is co-chair of the committee for medical managers
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