Topic: patients’ appointments were kept on schedule, while

Topic: Time and Resource Management



During my placement in primary care, I saw a great example of time and resource management.
Before starting our daily routine of seeing patients, my GP supervisor and I always
review the day’s schedule together. One day, my GP supervisor recognized that
Mrs. B, who is blind, was scheduled to come in that day and requires assistance
from staff to get to the consultation room. We planned for this by agreeing
that I would meet her upon her arrival and assist her in navigating to the
consultation room safely. By being prepared, all patients’ appointments were
kept on schedule, while also ensuring a positive and safe experience for not
only Mrs. B, but all our patients that day.


I felt
confidence in the practice to be able to care for every patient equally and
thoughtfully. While I have grown to expect that every patient’s individual
needs would be attended to, it was a situation that made me realize that the
time other patient’s may potentially sacrifice is important to be mindful of as
well. Although GP’s are trying to handle a very large patient population with
minimal time, it is very encouraging that a very brief meeting requiring minimal
effort ensured the safety and quality of care for Mrs. B without taking time
away from other patients.


experience was beneficial because until this day, I did not appreciate that our
routine five minutes together potentially has a large impact on how smoothly
surgery may run on any given day. It can be difficult at times to avoid delays
and interruptions and by spending five minutes, we can potentially save time
that can then be used for other pressing tasks. It is important to note that it
needs to be considered that the resources available on any given day can be
different. In the case of my GP supervisor, I am on placement one day a week, thus,
I am an additional resource on those days. I was an extra set of hands that
could be ready and waiting for Mrs. B’s arrival. On another day, this task may
have fallen on a nurse or secretary, but it would be established during a brief
five minutes before patients begin arriving. This experience was also
beneficial because any time that is spent with my GP supervisor is an
opportunity for me to develop a rapport with them. This is important when they
are a major resource for my learning. Unfortunately, other staff are not
usually included in this “mini meeting”. This may mean that other staff are not
aware of planned actions that may alter their own time management. With staff
arriving at different times during the day, it may not always be feasible to
include more staff in a morning meeting, or including them could be irrelevant
to their roles and keep staff members from accomplishing things on their


Time and
resource management is crucial to the effective running of GP surgeries. Research
from the General Medical Council supports that GP surgeries are suffering
significant staffing challenges (, 2015). Whilst physician associates
are a potential solution to this problem, it is still necessary to use any
resources available as wisely as possible. Time is invaluable and hard to come
by and it is possible that holding short daily meetings may prove to be more of
a benefit than a burden for GP’s.

Carnegie, a company that offers business solutions and leadership training, teamed
with MSW Research and concluded that employee engagement is critically important
when considering the quality of their performance in the workplace. When
employees are performing at their best, they are utilizing their time most
effectively. They name one key driver for employee engagement as: a
relationship with their immediate supervisor (, 2012). In
addition to this, The American Academy of Family Physicians have reviewed
research that suggests a morning “huddle” is a great way to keep employees
engaged and requires no more than 7 minutes a day to obtain results. It is also
not necessary that every member of staff be included in these huddles. Relevant
staff members can meet and then pass information on to others on the team as
required (Stewart
and Johnson, 2007).

Lastly, the
NHS places a lot of importance on patient experience and has established NICE
guidelines that require the physician to consider each individual patient’s
needs and circumstances (, 2012). The huddle, as supported by my own
experience, has proved to be a great time to establish when care needs to be
adapted or tailored for a patient.