This site is intended for health professionals only

Majority of practice managers have applied for new jobs

Exclusive More than half of practice managers have applied for new jobs, with most wanting to leave practice management altogether, according to research by the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM).

The survey of 112 practice managers found that 57% had applied for a new job, with workload and excessive bureaucracy cited among the main reasons.

This is a big increase on the 44% of practice managers who said they were thinking of applying for a new job when a similar survey by recruitment firm First Practice Management was carried out in 2013.

The IHM has called for NHS England and the DH to reduce bureaucracy, specifically citing the Workforce Data Requirement, and for practice managers to be made partners in GP practices.

The institute also said that the prospect of moving towards seven-day working had also had a negative effect on their working.

It comes amid warnings about the number of GPs leaving the UK, while one in 10 GP posts is vacant, and the number of people wanting to enter the profession continues to decrease.

Pulse has also revealed that practice managers have seen their salaries cut, and are being further pressurised by the cuts to practice support services, leading to more mistakes regarding payments, and even leading to trainees being suspended from work due to NHS England admin errors.

The IHM, which has 3000 members in health and social care, wants more GP federations and for managers to have more opportunities to become leaders in their own practice.

Almost all of the practice managers said that they should be a leader in their practice but lack of training and time pressures were barriers to achieving this. 

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of IHM said: ‘The healthcare sector is under enormous strain, but practice managers are often forgotten.’

Changes such as a seven-day service in the NHS have had a significant effect on practice managers but their concerns are often overlooked, Cramer said.

A statement from the IHM called for: ‘NHS England and the Department of Health to examine ways of reducing pressures excessive bureaucracy may place on practices by improving their communication with practice managers and addressing issues of duplication, response time demands and complications caused by fragmentation of services. 

‘Completion of the Workforce Data Requirement, necessitating submission of extensive staff details on a six-monthly basis, is one example of a task which could be reviewed.’

It also said the GPC and RCGP should ‘recognise and promote the leadership role of practice managers’, while practices should ‘consider making their practice manager a partner in the business’.