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My first 6 months as a GP Practice Manager by Riz Husain

by in Practice Life, Staff


This is my first time at blogging so be gentle with me!

I guess I should start by sharing a bit about my background. I’m in my mid 40s, British Asian, and I’ve worked mainly in the private sector since graduating in 1993. I won’t bore you with too much (as you can read it on my LinkedIn profile) but I joined the NHS in 2010 after completing my MBA.

Coming from the private sector I had a lot to learn about the NHS culture, especially patience!

After 4.5 years of success with Central London Community Healthcare I needed a fresh challenge, and that was found in my new role as Practice Manager at St. George’s Medical Centre in Barnet. Considering I had no PM experience, and there were others with more experience available, I feel grateful that the partners at my practice gave me an opportunity here.

Since joining in August it’s been a huge learning curve. Initially I thought it’d be akin to office management, but how wrong I was! Aside from all the nuances there’s QOF, CQRS, Open Exeter, DES, LCS, etc. Thankfully I had assistance from the interim PM (Philip Thompson) who was a great help in helping me get up to speed. That said I feel like I’m still learning every day.

Biscuit assortmentI think the biggest issue I have relates to not anything specific, but the enormity of the role. Pretty much everything could be marked up as a job for the Practice Manager. Of course it’s not all roses. Only this week I had to literally clean up someone else’s s*** (it was so bad I couldn’t let the reception team or the cleaners do it). But on the positive side there is always something to do. Perhaps this is why I’m enjoying it as the time flies by.

One of the really positive parts of the role has been the support from staff at my practice, at all levels. Considering the majority have been here for 10+ years they continue to be very helpful.

I can see at a local level, but also at a borough and national level there is so much that could be improved on. I mean, who on earth thought the Open Exeter and CQRS websites were user friendly when they commissioned them? Furthermore how does anyone stay slim in GP land? I’ve never seen so much chocolate, biscuits and cake being kindly given. I’m sure Mr Kipling is locked away somewhere in our basement.

It’s been just over 5 months since I started and I’m really enjoying it. I’m a big believer in helping people, especially where it improves what we do for patients. Hence why I’m happy to share with my borough PMs as well as fellow PMs on Practice Index anything that I feel would be beneficial to others. Some may have noticed I know my way around Excel and (to a lesser extent) PowerPoint, so feel free to ask me any questions.

When it comes to being a Practice Manager I’m climbing a big learning curve, but thanks to colleagues at my practice and online, the gradient is getting easier to climb.

[Total: 8   Average: 3.8/5]
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Riz Husain

Riz Husain

Now working as a Practice Manager in Barnet and really enjoying the new challenges it brings.

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7 Responses to “My first 6 months as a GP Practice Manager by Riz Husain”
  1. Avatar
    Jerry Says:

    This is brilliant. I am 5 years in and still learning! Good luck with the next 6 months, it gets easy after the first year, trust me!


    • Avatar
      Riz Says:

      Thanks Jerry for your kind words and reassurance!

      I think I’ll be more prepared come April when all the new stuff comes out. Being there at the beginning will allow me to prepare properly and get my head round things.

      I’ve never used Outlook Tasks so much in all my life!


  2. Avatar
    Teerath Kainth Says:

    Great write up Riz, been in GP land for getting on 3 years myself , and finally getting to grips with how the NHS works (sometimes). Challenging times ahead.


    • Avatar
      Riz Says:

      Thanks Teerath.

      Lets see how the ‘political football’ that is the NHS is after May. I dare say it’s going ot be in for a right kicking between now and then!

      Of course we’ll have to pick up the pieces, as usual.


  3. Avatar
    Anna Richardson Says:

    Hi Riz, I am about to retire from my present practice after 27 years!! I thought I was the only one who thought that CQRS was not user friendly and that it was my age that was preventing me from getting to grips with it; but if a young chap like you also has the same thoughts it make me feel better. I wish you all the very best in your new position, but do be aware of the goodies, I’m afraid they have take their toll on me.


    • Avatar
      Riz Says:

      Thanks Anna for your kind words. Yes I’m already wary about the goodies that regularly appear. This year (so far) my resolve has been absolute, especially as I don’t want to spend money widening doors. 🙂

      CQRS is a joke! For example, why offer something to be declared, if there’s no other option (e.g. cancel)?

      Hope you have a long, happy and healthy retirement.



  4. Avatar
    Elaine Says:

    Hi Riz

    Great write-up thanks!

    I’m just new in post as PM myself, only started in April. If I need anything, I’ll message you, as you’re ahead of me by a few months! lol



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