Who would be a practice manager?

As a practice manager you have to be a jack of all trades.

You need to have skills in the following areas:

  • Accounts
  • Payroll
  • NHS pension scheme
  • HR
  • Claims
  • Office admin
  • Liaison between staff and doctors

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, so how do you strengthen the areas where you feel vulnerable? 

I would suggest the following:

  • Training
  • Networking
  • Delegation
  • Outsourcing
  • Liaising with the practice accountant

Training – Identify areas where you feel weak, and look for relevant training courses and materials. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors to pay for them – it’s a good investment for them.

Networking – Don’t be an island. Establish relationships with other practice managers who you can bounce things off. Consider joining a practice managers user group.

Delegation – This is not always possible – it depends on the size of the practice. Try and identify jobs which can be done by other members of staff.

Outsourcing – The problem with outsourcing is that it costs money, but sometimes it can be a good investment. One of the most common areas for this is HR, which can be a minefield. Some practices outsource things like payroll or accounts.

Liaising with the practice accountant – There may be certain one-off tasks which your accountant can help you with. We have found this to be particularly true when it comes to the pension scheme – have you ever had to fill in those forms when a member of staff is thinking of leaving, or what about dealing with employee and employer contributions when someone is sick or on maternity?

Neil Robinson

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