Top tips for managing your new practice manager

  • One Partner to meet once per week with Practice Manager for first three months. Then fortnightly for next three months. Review frequency after this. Don’t forget to confirm outcome of probationary period.
  • Rotate chairing of the Partners meeting. It is hard to chair, lead and minute a meeting at the same time. Recognise the importance of the Partners meeting for the PM. It is their once a month chance to seek decisions on practice matters in order to take things forward. Try to contribute actively and positively and aim to reach decisions. Be encouraging.
  • Let you PM know that they have your backing 100% in the management of the team and the practice
  • Remember that the PM has up to 40 team members plus attached staff to deal with. Some days the PM can be bombarded. Try not to bother the PM with minutiae – can another member of the team deal?
  • Take time out to ask how your PM is getting on. Ask to see the accounts file, current bank account statement or other practice data. Show an interest in their work.
  • Agree objectives with the PM and review achievement of these in April prior to a decision about any performance related bonus
    Recognise the pressure points on the PM at certain times of the year or due to certain events. Make an effort during these pressure points to check that they are managing their workload.
March/April Tax year end, contract year end, salary reviews and letters to staff, payroll changes.
May/June Practice annual report, Financial year end, preparation of next years business plan, budget and drawings policy.
August  GP Trainee changeover.
Sept/Oct Contract and QOF assessment visit and/or paper submission. Policy review and updating. Flu clinic organisation.
December Christmas rota, info for patients, Christmas party, Christmas gifts for staff. Issue Friday pm meetings timetable. Update non-NHS medical fees.
February GP Trainee changeover.

In addition, certain events can add significantly to day to day workload:

  • Partner leaving, joining, altering work pattern
  • Staff vacancies, sickness, maternity leave
  • Extraordinary events e.g. flood, break-in, new build, computer failure
  • Difficult staffing matter
  • The introduction of a new DES

The PM role is quite an isolated one. Offer your support.

Finally, remember that as with anything in life, you get out of a Practice Manager what you put in. Invest in your PM in terms of time, support, training, guidance, decision making and interest.

A happy PM is an effective PM. An effective PM means an effective profitable practice
which means happy partners with juicy profits!!

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