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a blog by Chris Barrow

Friday riff - you have to be the boss right now

Burn out

Principals, managers, clinicians and teams are burning out after the July obsession with hitting pre-Covid turnover figures. They are now pulling back and realising that the extra hours are not sustainable - re-writing business and financial models to get more balance.

Hygiene/therapy blues

Hygienists/therapists are unhappy about working with hand scalers, working without nurses, working reduced days, on reduced pay, or simply having no job.

Overwhelm at Reception

The volume of calls and the challenges of managing patient flow around the building are creating a bottleneck that is slowing down the rest of the practice.


When people are seeing that things aren't being done right - compliance or moral compass - they are spilling the beans.


It seems there are some who have really enjoyed furlough and are in no hurry to come back to work. Citing child-care issues, vulnerability and work-related stress (within days of a return). No doubt some of these situations are authentic - but not all.


The most common response to Covid redundancy is starting to look like a claim for unfair dismissal - you had better have your contracts watertight and a good HR lawyer.

Fallow time

Some breaking ranks now and reducing their fallow time, supported by detailed risk assessments and a variety of mitigating procedures.


There seem to be some folk who think that Covid-19 is over and it's OK to get very slack on the observance of SOPs and the donning of PPE. You read my post earlier this week about what might happen if a team member tests positive. Stories are circulating of clinicians and team members who are easing off on compliance - a concern.


On the one hand, team members are taking well deserved holidays but that means your resources are stretched while they are away. On the other hand, team members are cancelling (or having cancelled) holidays and asking for their entitlement to be carried forwards (you don't have to do that if it's going to bugger up next year's rota).

You are the boss

This "return to work" environment is going to be with us for a good while yet - the idea that we are going to get back to some version of normal in a few months is becoming less likely - we could be working in these conditions for a long time.

It's more important than ever to be a good leader (people) and a good manager (systems).

More important than ever to allocate time to work ON the business as well as IN the business.

You must control the agenda.

Your team need a boss. Be that person.

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