- Log In to Add to Favourites
July 10 2012
The AOP plans to launch a range of new services and product developments designed to address recent and emerging challenges faced by its members, both practice owners and employed. The developments planned require some internal changes and new skills on the AOP team.
A related consultation with staff on restructuring proposals is already underway, with the expectation that this will be completed in early August.
The proposed restructure is designed to allow the AOP to provide members with state-of-the-art online and interactive distance learning facilities, and more face-to-face meetings. It will also expand business and marketing support, and research for practice owners, who face massive and growing competition.
The proposed restructure will also address employee member challenges; there will be increased support in areas such as employment law and career development, as well as assistance for those struggling to balance ethical, patient-centred care against increasing commercial pressures.
Richard Carswell, AOP interim chief executive, said: “The Association is absolutely committed to providing its members with the support they need to prosper. Our plans will ensure we have precisely the right skills and services within the AOP that members need to face the challenges of trading profitably in a competitive and fast changing market, downward pressure on salaries, increasing and sometimes professionally compromising expectations and an increasingly litigious society.”
The proposed restructuring will result in better services for members provided within the existing budgetary framework.
David Craig, AOP’s operations director, explained: “Members will not see a reduction in quality or lose current services they need. We understand that times are hard for our members and our proposed restructure should allow us to keep our operating costs broadly the same, and balance supply and demand for existing products and services better. It should also enable us to make significant improvements in terms of the range of services we offer as well as focusing more resource on high-demand areas, such as employment law and best practice guidance for members in running a commercially successful business.”
The AOP’s executive anticipates that headcount at the AOP will remain largely unchanged.
The proposals for changing the AOP’s structure include the creation of 12 new posts and 10 current posts no longer being required. Some staff are at risk of redundancy and are being given the opportunity to apply for the new posts.
Mr Carswell added: “Unfortunately the proposals are likely still to result in some job losses amongst staff whose jobs are not business critical, member critical or who work in areas where resource outstrips demand. It is very painful, but we have fantastic staff who are committed to the success of members and who understand that there is a need to re-align ourselves with members’ current needs, rather than their historical needs.”
Mr Carswell believes that the changes to the AOP are critical for the profession: “There is no doubt that the services and products we provide and propose are needed now more than ever. We are working for a profession that we believe is under-valued and under phenomenal pressure at the moment. We serve a profession that has seen the real value of salaries in this sector fall by as much as 28% in the last five years. Times have changed for the worse, and the AOP is changing in order to help them change for the better,” he said.
- Log In to Add to Favourites