Practice managers work in primary care, where they manage the overall running of general practices (GP surgeries).
As a practice manager, you’ll work where people often have their first and most frequent point of contact with the NHS.
As a practice manager, you will be responsible for the smooth running of a centre that could have a team of ten GPs and other clinical staff, with as many as 20,000 registered patients.
You will be involved in a wide range of activities, including:
- business planning
- handling financial systems for the practice, including payroll
- selecting, training and supervising non-clinical staff
- developing and supervising appointment systems that work well for patients and clinicians
- ensuring accurate records are kept, and liaising with local health organisations such as clinical commissioning groups
- developing strategies for the practice on issues such as computer systems and security, expanding or changing services, and long-term services
So the role usually combines:
- personnel administration
- strategic planning
- IT skills.
Who will I work with?
Practice managers will work with a variety of staff who work from or are based within the practice. These staff will typically include GPs, practice nurses, medical secretaries, receptionists, dietitians, pharmacists and others.
Want to learn more?
- Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to enter a career in practice management
- Find out more about the training you’ll receive for a career in practice management
- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Practice managers may be employed on NHS terms and conditions or on those of private employers and other organisations. Pay will depend on a number of factors including the employer, location, size of practice and precise role and responsibilities.
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Practice managers employed on NHS terms and conditions could be on a salary of between AfC band 5 (if working in a small practice or as an assistant practice manager, for instance) and 8b.
Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern.
Terms and conditions of service will vary for employers outside the NHS. For practice managers, salaries may range from between £30,000 and £50,000 per year.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
With further training and/or experience, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for more senior managerial roles within different services and healthcare organisations, such as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Relocation for promotion is common.
Angela Paice became a practice manager after working as a medical secretary, then later moved onto other roles and now works as a business manager at a CCG.
Management qualifications, such as an MBA (Master of Business of Administration) or DMS (Diploma in Management Studies) may be an advantage for some posts.
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
When you’re looking for jobs as a practice manager, the primary source for vacancies will be the NHS Jobs website
Check vacancies carefully to be sure you can meet the requirements of the person specification before applying and to find out what the application process is. You may need to apply online or send a C.V. for example.
Not all practice managers will be employed on NHS terms and conditions and you are advised to consider other sources of vacancies too. So you may also find suitable vacancies in the health sector by contacting local employers directly, searching in local newspapers and by using the Universal Jobmatch tool
Volunteering is an excellent way of gaining experience (especially if you don’t have enough for a specific paid job you’re interested in) and also seeing whether you’re suited to a particular type of work. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence and you can give something back to the community!
- Further information Expand / Collapse
For further information about a career in practice management, please contact: