Practice manager

Practice managers are vital to the successful running of GP surgeries. You'll manage the business aspect of the surgery, making sure that patients are at the centre of the surgery's operations. 

Working life

A GP surgery is a patient's first and most frequent point of contact with the NHS and you'll be responsible for its smooth running. You 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
  • payroll
  • finance
  • 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 GPspractice nurses, medical secretaries, receptionists, dietitians, pharmacists and others.

Want to learn more?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Read Angela’s story

    Management qualifications, such as an MBA (Master of Business of Administration) or DMS (Diploma in Management Studies) may be an advantage for some posts.

  • When you’re looking for jobs as a practice manager, the primary source for vacancies will be the NHS Jobs website 

    Just some of the current vacancies are below. 

  • For further information about a career in practice management, please contact:

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