GP practice manager

  Tips4Jobs Tips4Jobs Tips4Jobs Tips4Jobs

Anne Hall is practice manager with a Medical Practice in Brighton. She works with a small team of doctors, nurses, office staff and receptionists.

What does your job as a GP practice manager involve?

I manage our receptionists, office staff and practice nurses. This means dealing with the recruitment of new staff, staff appraisals, any training and development needs – arranging for them to go on useful training courses or seminars, salaries, working rotas, holidays and sick leave. I also put systems in place for staff to follow, so the surgery runs smoothly.

I look after the building we work in too, which involves dealing with repairs or decoration, checking on health and safety, and making sure all office and clinical equipment is maintained and in good working order.

Looking after the practice budget and accounts, and ordering supplies are part of the job too, so it's all very varied and busy.

What business systems have you put in place?

I have organised systems for jobs like recording patient details and arranging special clinics. I also arrange practice meetings from time to time, to check that everyone here is aware of all the systems in place and that work is carried out consistently. The meetings provide an opportunity to discuss ways of continually improving our services.

Do you have any daily or weekly routines?

Every day is different really. I do have monthly timescales for salary payments and reports. I have plans for my next day's work, but desk jobs often have to be put aside as something more urgent jumps the queue. For example, patient enquiries, rearranging a clinic if a doctor is sick, or calling a plumber or electrician if something has gone wrong in the building.

What skills and qualities do you need to be a GP practice manager?

It's important to be calm and flexible, and to be able to jump from one job to another without getting in a muddle or making mistakes. As well as dealing with different people and situations every day, there's lots of paperwork and computer work, so you need to be very organised and accurate.

What do you like best about your job?

I never get bored because there's so much variety in the job and always plenty to do. I need to keep up-to-date with things like health and safety, employment law, payroll, the Inland Revenue and fire safety. I enjoy going on the training courses that help me to do this.

What challenges do you face?

We are moving into a larger, modern building next year and joining with two other practices, so I'm having lots of meetings about this – the new building, its layout, how we will all work together and what services we will provide.

From a day-to-day point of view, my main challenge at the moment is trying to get through as much as possible with all the extra work a large move creates. I am doing this by delegating some of the administrative jobs to other office staff.

Anne's route to her career as a practice manager

  • Part-time job in GP practice as data input clerk
  • Promoted to practice administrator
  • Started working for Diploma in Practice Management
  • Promoted to practice manager

Anne's practice manager tips

  • You need a flexible work approach as you will be dealing with admin tasks as well as people
  • It's good to work your way up in a practice – you get to know everyone in the team and how they best work together

Practice manager related jobs

  • Civil Service administrative assistant/officer
  • Health records clerk
  • Health service manager
  • Human resources officer/manager
  • Medical secretary
  • Receptionist

Salary of a practice manager

  • Salaries vary depending on the size of the practice and where it is in the UK.
  • A newly-qualified practice manager usually earns around £16,000.
  • With experience, this can rise to between £20,000 and £30,000.
  • A senior practice manager, in a large practice, can earn up to £40,000.

How to become a GP practice manager

  • Most entrants are in their mid to late 20s, as employers usually look for applicants with some experience in administration or management, especially in the health service or social care.
  • The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) offers a Diploma in Primary Care Management (previously in Practice Management), taking up to two years to complete.
  • Some GP practice managers have other management qualifications, eg Degree in Management Studies, HND in Business (Management). Others have experience in accountancy or human resources, or have worked their way up from practice receptionist to an administrative role.

Modified: 16 June 2013

Did we help you? Please help us by telling us about your experiences e.g. interview questions and answers.