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Practice management

Practice management

Practice managers work in primary care, where they manage the overall running of general practices (GP surgeries).

You could come from a range of different backgrounds and not necessarily need to be a qualified healthcare professional. Typically, it would be an opportunity for an accomplished manager, bringing both day-to-day management skills as well as a strategic perspective, for one or more partner medical practices.

Qualifications and experience required would vary, but a management qualification would usually be required, along with a proven experience of motivating people. The role usually combines personnel administration, payroll, finance, strategic planning and IT skills. NHS/general practice experience would often be preferred.

Being a practice manager would necessitate a head for finance and an ability to manage in a changing environment.

Entry and training

Practice managers are usually required to hold a relevant qualification:

Certificate/Diploma in Primary Care and Health Management

The DPHCM is open to existing managers and potential managers in a health or social care environment. Candidates must be educated to level 3 standard and should have a background that will enable them to benefit from the programme.

In order to be able to take the programme, candidates should be recommended by an appropriate employer and accepted by a recognised centre following interview.

The programme is included in the Qualifications and Credit Framework at level 5 and is provided by a number of AMSPAR/City and Guilds -approved centres.

The course contains modules covering the following topics in a primary care and health environment:

  • managing medical ethics and legal requirements
  • financial management and budgeting
  • managing information and communication
  • leading teams
  • developing or improving services.

There are also optional units on topics including the manager as a critical thinker; becoming an effective leader and managing recruitment.

For further details of the DCPHM and to search for AMSPAR/City and Guilds approved centres, visit the AMSPAR website.

Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice Managers (VTSGPM)

The VTSGPM is delivered on a part time basis over a period of 36 weeks, using a blended learning model. This includes 1 full day of face to face teaching every two weeks and extra independent study in between. Guided study materials are provided and candidates are supported by appropriately qualified tutors both during attendance and distance learning processes of email, structured email tutorials, and telephone contact.

The course covers six key topics:

  • Managing your enterprise
  • Personal & team effectiveness
  • Primary care, finance, data management & information strategy
  • Quality and regulation in Primary Care
  • Introduction to Commissioning
  • Medical Terminology for Practice Managers.

For details of the VTS for General Practice Managers, visit the IHM website.

NHS Jobs

Details of exact requirements for individual practice manager vacancies can be found in the person specifications in job vacancies on the NHS Jobs website.

Further information

Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)
Tel: 020 7387 6005
Fax: 020 7388 2648
Email: info@amspar.com
Website: www.amspar.co.uk

Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM)
Email: enquiries@ihm.org.uk
Website: www.ihm.org.uk