Celebrating 5 Years of Leeds GP Confederation – Jim Barwick Reflects

Posted on:

To celebrate five official years of Leeds GP Confederation, Jim Barwick, Chief Executive, reflects on the knowledge we’ve gained since the start of the Confed.

Whilst it’s five years since the Confed was registered as an organisation, it was several years in the making. The predecessor organisations, the old GP federations, and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), put the Confed in good stead from the start. But what have we learnt in the last five years?

People: It’s our colleagues, not just in the Confed but throughout the whole Health & Care Partnership in Leeds, that bring us to life. Relationships are key. This has always been the case. People are why we are here. To be the very best to support people who need health care. 

Purpose: We work in a world where there are so many uncertainties and challenges. Over the last five years COVID and the emergence of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have been two to name but a few. So, within this context, defining purpose can be challenging. However, breaking this down to its most simple components has worked. Voice & representation, and providing contracts & services is what we settled on. We’re particularly proud of our achievements, rapidly standing up services when needed, as well as our CQC outstanding rating.

What we do: Being clear on what we do to meet our purpose has been important. There have been times when it’s been easy to overstretch or go to the next new thing. Generally, because people can see opportunities to do more and improve. The trick is to get the balance right. Do what we do as well as we can and have this as the core. But, have space to innovate and invigorate, motivate and be curious.

How we do it: Our values and behaviours are the most important thing. We have multiple pulls and opinions to balance, objectives to meet whilst operating in an often pressured and complex system. Without being kind, reasonable and living our values, the impact of what we do will be diminished.

The grey between: Over the last five years we have had to adapt and be flexible. Been able to understand the nuances and differences of opinion but facilitate a collective view. There are always grey areas where nothing is clear, where uncertainty exists. Everyone is a leader and we have managed to create a framework (governance) that’s keeps us safe in all that we do, whilst coping with the grey.

The reason for hope: Is because the Confed is made up of good people. Passionate colleagues that want to do their very best for the people of Leeds. This nestled within a health & care system believe the same. In the last five years the Confed has become well respected and part of the fabric of health & care in Leeds and beyond. Our future is to enhance this. I’m confident we will achieve this because of our great people.

Jim Barwick, Chief Executive, Leeds GP Confederation