Management in Practice is speaking to a series of PMs on the front-line about what being a practice manager means to them. Deputy editor, Angela Sharda talks to Amanda Sayer about the challenges practice management poses and the future of the profession.
Q. How has being a practice manager changed since you first started out in the profession?
A lot has changed for me, especially since I was made a partner in 2005. We still have the same role – to take care of our patients. That changes have been in the PCT to CCG, finances and funding, premises, the CQC and the new roles in primary care. The list is endless.
Q. When did you begin as a practice manager and how did you get into the role to start with?
I started in 2004. I wanted a job that was close to home and I was approached by one of the GPs at the Practice. The practice wanted someone with business experience.
Q. What would you say are the biggest challenges of being a practice manager today?
Meeting patient demand and expectation, keeping GPs from feeling stressed, supporting staff, inadequate buildings and lack of funding.
Q. What do practice managers need most in terms of support?
More time. Can you make a day 30 hours long? Seriously, to be left alone to get on with the job. It’s time to bring back named contacts and abolish generic email addresses.
Q. What do you find most rewarding about being a practice manager?
Staff who go the extra mile and it means a great deal when people say ‘thank you.’
Q. How do you see the future of practice management?
I think that practices will become larger and we may need to split the PM role between a couple of managers.
Q. What do you think you would be doing today if you were not a practice manager?
Where do I start? Probably working in Italy.
Q. The practice manager role is forever evolving. If you could choose your dream team, what would that look like and which professions would it include?
I already have most of them working with and for me.
Amanda Sayer is managing partner at The Lighthouse Medical Practice