How to become a GP Manager. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about GP Manager careers in the UK.
What does a GP Manager do?
As a practice manager, you would run the business side of a GP’s surgery or health centre. You would be responsible for managing the practice’s staff and budgets, developing its business strategy and making sure that everything runs smoothly.
Your duties could vary according to the size of the practice, but would typically include:
- recruiting, training and supervising medical receptionists and secretaries
- dealing with accounts and budgets, paying wages and making sure the practice meets its financial targets
- organising duty rosters for doctors and clerical staff
- managing the reception and appointments system
- managing manual and computerised medical records systems
- controlling stocks of equipment, stationery and drugs
- arranging the building’s cleaning, maintenance and security
- attending practice meetings
- monitoring prescriptions.
You would have a lot of contact with outside organisations such as local NHS trusts and primary care groups, and local authority social services departments.
In a full-time job you would work 37 hours week, mainly standard office hours Monday to Friday. You may sometimes work in the evenings or on Saturday mornings, depending on your practice’s opening hours. Part-time work may often be available.
You would be based at a GP surgery or health centre. If your practice includes more than one surgery, you would travel between locations.
How much does a GP manager earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Starting salaries in smaller practices can be from £25,000 a year.
- With experience, earnings are usually between £35,000 and £68,000, depending on the size of the practice.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Employers will expect you to be an experienced administrator or manager. Experience from a health or social care setting would be an advantage, but experience and qualifications in accounts, personnel work or staff management in other industries can be equally useful.
Before looking for your first practice manager’s job, you may find it helpful to take the City & Guilds with Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) Diploma in Primary Care Management. This is not essential beforehand, as you could take the qualification on the job once you are in the management role, but it could provide a useful insight into the work.
To be accepted for the City & Guilds/AMSPAR Diploma, you will need a qualification such as A levels, a BTEC National Diploma or an advanced medical secretarial qualification. You will also need an employer to recommend you.
If you are not currently working in healthcare, you may be accepted onto the City & Guilds/AMSPAR Diploma if you can find a suitable work placement in a GP practice or health centre.
See AMSPAR’s website for more details about the Diploma.
Training and Development
If you are working as a practice manager or deputy practice manager, you can take the City & Guilds/AMSPAR work-based Diploma in Primary Care Management on the job. See AMSPAR’s website for more information.
You could also choose to take the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) Managing Health and Social Care awards. The MHSC Certificate and Diploma are open learning courses suitable for health service managers including GP practice managers. See the IHM website for more details.
- Institute of Healthcare Management – Professional Development Programmes
Both AMSPAR and the IHM offer their members further training opportunities and professional recognition.
Skills and Knowledge
- excellent organisational skills
- the ability to manage people and lead a team
- good written and spoken communication skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- accounting skills and budgeting awareness
- good computer skills
- strategic planning and business skills
- respect for confidential information.
You could be employed by GPs’ surgeries and health centres all over the UK. Jobs are advertised in the local press and on health service websites.
With experience, you could choose to become a partner (part-owner) of the practice. Alternatively, you could move into healthcare management in hospitals, health authorities and NHS trusts, social services or private health care.
You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading (links open new window):