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More than half of practice managers work unpaid overtime every day, report finds

by Costanza Pearce
27 March 2019

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More than half of practice managers say they work unpaid overtime on a daily basis, a new report has revealed.

The report, published today, surveyed the readers of Cogora’s five primary care publications: Management in Practice, Healthcare Leader, Nursing in Practice, Pulse and The Pharmacist.

In addition to practice managers, the Primary Concerns 2018: The State of Primary Care report also gathered responses from GP partners, salaried GPs, pharmacists, healthcare assistants and nurses.

Over half of practice managers, 52%, said they worked beyond their contracted hours without pay every day, with a third, 36%, in the habit of doing so at least once a week.

Just 4% said they never worked overtime without pay, making practice managers second only to GPs of whom just 2% never worked unpaid beyond their contracted hours.

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Practice Manager Association advisory panel member Mairead Roche said:
‘This feels very true. Since I started, more and more new ‘tasks and duties’ are being sneaked into GP practices from NHS England and secondary care.

‘The job has no end points – everything gets bounced back to us from community care, secondary and now social care givers, who all have very specific service level agreements where we have uncertainty and medical risk.’

Ms Roche added that practice managers now have to submit more evidence that their practices are ‘value for money’, as well as complete more audits and spreadsheets and implement new IT procedures, while secondary care trust ‘behemoths’ are subject to ‘few if any checks and balances’.

She said: ‘More than 80% of NHS spend is on secondary care and we must account for every penny. If the CCGs don’t feel we’ve tried hard enough they just don’t award us the money and it goes to pay off the deficit.’
Pay rise success
However, the report reveals that nearly two-thirds, 60%, of practice managers have requested a pay rise or better terms and conditions while in their current role and some three-quarters, 76%, were successful.

This represented a much greater proportion than for some other professions in the report. For example, only only 37% of salaried GPs had requested a pay rise or improved terms, with only half, 51%, being successful.
Of those who were successful, practice managers received an average pay increase of 7%, while GPs partners received a 10% average pay rise.

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