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Finding the time for planning and strategy within GP organisations

By: Riaz Jetha | Post date: 20/12/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

We received consistent feedback around the constant pressures and challenges associated with allocating time to planning and strategy. Can you offer some guidance?

Dr Riaz Jetha, a GP in a South Lewisham Group Practice, addresses the challenges associated with allocating time to planning and strategy.


We’re already really busy as clinicians and finding time to develop our organisations and decide on strategy is yet another pressure and something else we need to fit into our already busy days. I don’t think there’s any easy solution to this. In my experience, organisations do have people who are particularly motivated by this aspect of their work and I would let them run with it but that needs to be balanced with them being able to take on board the views of other colleagues so everyone has a voice otherwise you can alienate people who don’t have the same motivation or drive. Now, we know as doctors that taking time out from seeing patients can be particularly contentious and I think it is important to understand why our colleagues would feel uncomfortable with other colleagues not seeing patients and spending time around a table. And often we can understand why that is and try to placate that in some way. As well as that, I think we need to demonstrate that colleagues who aren’t seeing patients are using their time really effectively, so meetings need to be minuted, they need to have clear agendas and we need to be able to see outputs. There’s lots of collaboration software out there as well such as Basecamp which is free on the internet and WhatsApp and that can help keep the conversation going, keep the energy going, and be a really good repository for storing your documents and your ideas.

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Riaz Jetha Medical Protection Expert

Riaz Jetha

Riaz Jetha has been a GP for 17 years and is currently his CCG’s clinical lead for working at scale. During his time as a GP he’s developed expertise in organisational development, working with both individual and groups of GP surgeries, out-of-hours organisations and CCGs.

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