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Because of the roles traditionally required of them, and because of the insularity of ancillary staff in general medical practice, many senior ancillary staff may not have been giving their doctors the most effective support of which they are capable. This is changing as a result of the change-promoting activities of the North of England Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
A survey of ancillary staff and general practitioners in the North of England has shown that the Royal College of General Practitioners has assisted ancillary staff to a greater consensus of more progressive views about the emerging role of practice manager than is the case amongst general practitioners. The results also show that differences in the size of practices have determined whether or not a need for a practice manager is perceived.
The focus of interest created by this faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners has resulted in the formation of special interest groups of senior ancillary staff in the North of England. These groups form a valuable resource for exploration and innovation to discover more effective means of organising and managing general medical practice.