Project manager

NHS project managers set up and lead projects that are vital to patient care being of the highest possible standard.

Working life

You’ll be responsible for the planning, delivery and implementation of a new policy or service. You'll manage each step of this including planning, budgets, risk assessment and planning. 

nhs manager reading

Staff will work on a broad range of projects in the NHS. Job roles and titles are varied but examples include:

Primary care development manager

You would work closely with GP practices to develop new ways of working in order to improve patient access and patient experience. You may work in a clinical commissioning group (CCG) or commissioning support unit (CSU) and coach, facilitate and share good practice across the region.

Specific duties may include:

  • managing the rollout of local projects and programmes
  • responsibility for the monitoring and analysis of primary care access data
  • development and implementation of a local referral management initiatives.

Workforce project manager 

You might be tasked to review services in specific clinical settings and map the workforce needed to deliver this. You will work with stakeholders such as local health providers, workforce planners and local education and training boards.

Project/programme director

The role of a project director will really depend on the area and setting they are working in.

For example, a project director working in a CCG or CSU could lead on a strategic review of services across primary and secondary care resulting in concrete plans for a major reconfiguration and development of services.

This type of post would be responsible for handling all aspects of the work, from ensuring a full review of health needs is delivered, along with clinical engagement in service reviews, to briefing local politicians and the media and ensuring significant patient and public involvement throughout the project.

Want to learn more?

  • 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.

    Your career in project management in the NHS could start at Agenda for Change Band 6 or 7, with the most senior roles rising to Band 9.

    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 can vary for employers outside the NHS.

  • With further training and/or experience, you can develop your expertise in project management further into more senior managerial roles, including those at director level.

    Progression for those with ability is typically via operational management in a large hospital.

    Relocation for promotion is common.

    More diverse routes are now opening up, for example, jointly-funded posts between health and social services.

    Graduates from the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme are expected to gain rapid promotion.

  • When you’re looking for managerial jobs, there are a number of sources you can use, but most vacancies can be found on the NHS Jobs website

    Just some of the current vacancies are below. 

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

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