Responsible for the smooth running of a medical centre that could have a team made up of GPs, nurses, health care assistants, administrators, receptionists, pharmacists, other allied healthcare professionals & other managers.

You duties could include:

  • business planning
  • handling financial systems for the practice, including payroll
  • selecting, training and supervising non-clinical staff
  • developing and supervising appointment systems that work well for patients and clinicians
  • ensuring accurate records are kept, and liaising with local health organisations such as clinical commissioning groups
  • developing strategies for the practice on issues such as computer systems and security, expanding or changing services, and long-term services
  • personnel administration
  • payroll
  • finance
  • strategic planning
  • IT skills

You can become a Practice Manager from a range of different backgrounds. You don’t necessarily need to be a qualified healthcare professional.

Qualifications and experience required will vary, but employers may look for a management qualification and experience of working in the NHS/general practice can be an advantage. Most often you would be an accomplished manager with experience of leading and managing a team.

Skills and attributes required by employers often include;

  • Leadership and motivational skills
  • The ability to manage a changing environment
  • Good communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Confidence with information technology

Many people with previous managerial experience may apply for a practice management role. Jobs are often advertised on NHS Jobs, in local newspapers or via agencies such as First Practice Management. It may also possible to progress to practice manager level at your current place of work as part of your companies succession planning.

Lorna Gardiner

Practice Manager

I took the decision to make a career change at the age of 39 and started as a receptionist in my local practice. My career progressed through the roles of Reception Lead, Deputy Practice Manager to Practice Manager.  I have now been working in the NHS for twenty years and been a Practice Manager for over eleven years.  I have managed Swavesey Surgery for the past ten years and alongside this I have also managed many other practices, providing support and training to practices and managers new to primary care.

I have recently taken up the role of General Practice Management Ambassador for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Training Hub.  This role is looking to provide guidance and support to Practice and PCN Managers and their teams, finding ways to be able to build on recruitment and retention in Primary Care.

Although the roles can be demanding I thoroughly enjoy the daily challenges and I am very proud to be working within the NHS and Primary Care.


With further training and experience you may the find opportunity to work in other health care organisations or services such as secondary care or your local commissioning group (CCG).