As a practice manager you have to be a jack of all trades.
You need to have skills in the following areas:
- NHS pension scheme
- 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:
- 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?