More than two-thirds of practice managers attend CCG or equivalent meetings, new research has revealed.
The study, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017, explores the role of 1,424 practice managers across the UK.
On average, 67% of practice managers said they attend CCG or health board meetings – the equivalent primary care organisations outside England.
More than nine in 10 practice managers, 91%, are involved in locality, cluster or federation meetings, although those working in practices with smaller list sizes are less likely to attend them.
In practices with patient lists of under 5,000, 84% of practice managers attended such meetings, while 94% attended them from practices with 10,000 patients or more.
As well as their involvement at a higher management level in their area, almost all practice managers took part in business meetings within their practice.
Overall, the research revealed that 98.5% of practice managers attend practice business meetings. This figure was moderately lower, 96.5%, in practices with fewer than 5,000 patients.
‘Not just administrators’
The study also explored practice managers’ perceptions of their opportunities to lead within their practice, with 97% agreeing that they ‘play an important role in setting priorities for improving services’.
The overwhelming majority of practice managers feel that they are ‘involved in decisions about changes that affect the practice’ and are trusted to do their job by the partners, with 95% and 96% respectively agreeing with this.
Most respondents, 92.5%, said there were frequent opportunities to show initiative within their role as practice manager.
Study author Dr Jennifer Gosling said: ‘Practice managers can no longer be dismissed as administrators – they are fully integrated into the leadership of the practice.’
However, slightly fewer practice managers, 88%, said they found it ‘easy to participate’ in projects that aim to improve patient care and services in their practice, with 8% disagreeing that this was the case.
Similarly, 89% agreed it was ‘easy’ for them to bring forward ideas to improve services.