I moved to Ayrshire and Arran to work as a 4 session GP Partner in 2015 and consider it to be the best career choice I could have made. Prior to this I was a GP partner in south Glasgow and felt disappointed and demotivated, working within a restricted environment that lacked a desire to modernise. I felt as a 30 something GP with young children that I needed to take control of my career, capitalise on my enthusiasm before I had it drained, and saw an opportunity from which I have never looked back.
Since moving to Darvel Surgery, my work-life balance has dramatically improved. Despite more miles, my daily commute time halved. My working day now unbelievably includes a tea break, no extended hours past 5.30 pm and remote access technology enables me to collect my children from childcare even on days when paperwork duties would otherwise have run on into the evening. My partners are dynamic, supportive and have a diverse range of experience between them. I am happier, I see more of my children and as a result I have much more reserve for dealing with the day to day pressures of patient care and expectation.
I have now developed a portfolio career by taking on a position as a 2 session stakeholder for the health and social care partnership. With flexible working options to accommodate those with family, I have been able to manage my workload and meetings to suit, whilst broadening my understanding of healthcare commissioning, piloting new models for healthcare and spanning the boundary of different healthcare professions. This work involved inclusion on the Integration Joint Board and trips to London to see how other health boards are operating.
Another area of work that I enjoy is a 1 session a week post with NHS Education for Scotland, working with the Associate Medical Director for Ayrshire and Arran and other NES colleagues as an Associate Adviser for quality improvement. I have completed peer review training and am also engaged in developing a new education module for GP’s across Scotland.