For Management in Practice’s 50th edition, Valeria Fiore asked practice managers across the UK to come up with a 50-word description of what practice management means to them.
Amanda Sayer Practice manager, The Lighthouse Medical Practice
- The glue that holds the whole practice together.
- The leaders and strategists.
- The innovators, planners and organisers.
- The negotiators and detectives.
- The financial controllers.
- The experts in HR, health and safety and CQC.
- The patients and PPG champions.
- The listeners and counsellors.
- Everything to everybody, every single day.
Tracy Green Practice manager, Templer Health Federation
An interesting, substantial and varied role, within a rollercoaster of change, requiring multi-tasking, forward thinking and a huge dose of resilience. To effectively manage financially, operationally and strategically, plus promote positive change, is needed along with energy and drive in an environment where patient satisfaction and employee engagement are paramount.
Ann Neville Practice business manager, Darwen Health Centre
The ability to plan with a patient-centred approach, as well as having understanding, empathy, authority and leadership. A passion for patient services. A love for the practice team and a determination for the practice to be more than just average but outstanding, with a vision of putting the patient first.
Virginia C Patania Practice manager, Jubilee Street Practice
There are many ways of being a practice manager. You can be covering reception and managing annual leave or piloting general practice redesign programmes that you hope to scale for the purpose of the national sustainability of primary care. I would put my money, and my job, on the latter.
Kay Keane FRSA Practice business manager, Alvanley Family Practice, Woodley Health Centre
It’s the best and worst job that anyone could have — in equal measure. It can be emotional, rewarding, exhausting, eye-opening and sometimes hilarious. Daily surprises come with the kindness of many of our patients, the anger of others and the odd nappy that needs fishing out of a blocked toilet.
Anne Crandles Practice management consultant (freelance)
A good practice manager ensures quality patient services by continually reviewing systems, nurturing their team and keeping abreast of health politics. In reality, this means the manager could be unblocking toilets, business planning with the GPs or representing peers on national groups — all before lunch. It’s the best job ever.
Steve Williams Co-chair, Practice Management Network
The world of practice management is constantly changing and the immediate future will see further change. What qualities do we need? The ability to deal with change is key, but equally we must be: pragmatic, resilient, adaptable, conscientious, thoughtful, insightful, caring, educated, mindful, analytical, negotiators, assured, gracious, empathetic and robust.