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My first year as a GP Practice Manager by Riz Husain

by in GP Practice Management, Practice Life

Riz HusainIt’s scary how time passes so quickly when you’re a Practice Manager. The hours zoom by, as do the days and months. I’ve been in post for a full year now and surprisingly I still don’t feel any suicidal tendencies!

I have to say I’m very lucky to be in my job because it’s a job with such diversity to it, and thus it always keeps me interested.

However, I’ve discovered that it’s not without its problems. Recently I’ve noticed I’m developing a flat spot on my forehead. Attending meetings with other practice managers and I’ve noticed they’ve also got the same issue; some more pronounced than others. After doing a lot of research I’ve discovered that this flat spot develops due to constantly banging your forehead on the NHS England wall.

Then there’s the issue of the feedback NHS England require. Aside from the data for payments there’s a lot of ‘management information’. When I first started I was desperately trying to complete this by composing complex reports on EMIS Web to hopefully satisfy their requirements. However, I’ve recently discovered that many Practice Managers don’t bother with it and enter zero on all requirements. But if this information is important then why isn’t NHS England composing reports for all clinical systems upfront, so Practice Managers can take those reports and give them the information they need? That way NHS England would know the data they receive is accurate, and we Practice Managers don’t waste time.

Having come from an IT background I’ve been using the web since I bought my 14.4Kb/s dial-up modem back in 1995. It wasn’t long after that when Amazon.co.uk was launched. How can a start-up from 1994 have a great intuitive website within a couple of years, yet an organisation that’s the fourth largest employer in the world still can’t employ a single decent web designer? Scarily this was 20 years ago!

After all the submissions at the end of year comes the exhausting experience of chasing payments. I swear the Immunisation team have an extra button on their calculator labelled ‘lucky dip’. Where do they get their figures from? I’ve entered what they owe us on their systems but it’s like they’re a dodgy wide-boy who wants to short change you in the hope you won’t notice or won’t bother to hassle them for the rest. Well I’ve got news for you sunny boy; you will give me that £7.64 you owe me!

Am I the only one who gets weary of so many acronyms? FFS!

The latest acronym to give me a headache is CQC. Now in a former life I was a Quality Manager, dealing with ISO 9001:200 et al. I appreciate that audits and inspections are there to ensure robustness, quality, sustainability, and customer (patient) satisfaction. But unlike ISO 9001:2000 there’s no standard to work to for GP Practices. If CQC had a British Standard for GP Practices to align themselves to and thus be audited on, everyone would have an exact idea of what needs to be done, what will be audited, and what the outcome is likely to be for a visit.

However, the reality is that there’s inconsistency from one CQC inspection to another. I don’t know what your borough/area is like but here in Barnet we’ve all be trying to cover so many possibilities that it feels we’ve hardly got time to treat patients. Their remit is so general that inconsistencies between one visit compared with another can be vast.

Maybe CQC need to have some sort of quality control? Hmm, maybe I am feeling suicidal tendencies after all!


Read Riz’s blog post after his first 6 months as Practice Manager here.

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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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11 Responses to “My first year as a GP Practice Manager by Riz Husain”
  1. Avatar
    Lin Martin Says:

    My goodness after just 1 year you have found the answers that have been going round in my head for years. It’s a job that not only gives satisfaction it gives total confusion as well. How lucky we are! I really enjoyed reading your comments keep up the writing if all else fails you could write a book!

    Lin Martin


  2. Avatar
    Gerry Barclay Says:

    Brilliant Riz! I have been in this job 2.5 yrs and sometimes I still feel like I am back on day 1!!! I thought the Military was bad for acronyms but the NHS takes the biscuit – even though I compiled a table for all the ones there was – they keep adding more (and dont tell you what they stand for unless you follow 3 different hyperlinks!!)

    I have been sweating the CQC inspection for ages – especially when I read some post-inspection reports and see that some of their ‘real’ concerns relate to what I would view as low priority issues – surely care of the patients should be the priority not whether a manager has chased up referees 3 times as they havent answered!! Thats it, ‘they’ are going to get me now!!!

    Back after only a week off and Dill the Dog (me) has finally stopped running round catching up on 186 e-mails and numerous messages and letters – its like you shouldnt have time off 🙂

    I never feel suicidal – demented though, definitely!

    Have fun all


    • Avatar
      Nicola Hayward Says:

      Hi Gerry…..nice to see you’re still in control!! hahahahahaha…. I trust that your partners have undertaken a dementia review on you (obviously PMs are prone but unfortunately we don’t hit the Enhanced Services target group!!)

      I’m 5 months in to the new post in Cornwall – totally different from my previous practice and the view of the beach from my office really does help (but to be honest, stress levels are fairly low pretty much all of the time)
      Best wishes as ever


      • Avatar
        Gerry Barclay Says:

        Low stress levels?? Maybe I should re-locate to Corwall too 🙂 School girl error keeping in touch – now I can ask you dumb questions again!!! haha Take care, Gerry


    • Avatar
      Riz Says:

      Thanks Gerry. I think sometimes the whole CQC stuff can leave you panicing. You get what you feel is needed sorted, then read something else, and have to redo everything.

      I’ll be glad when it’s all over! 🙂


  3. Practice Index
    Practice Index Says:

    Hi Gerry
    Hopefully this post will help with the acronyms!


  4. Avatar
    meeta arhi - minhas Says:

    Brilliant ! especially the part about Imms having an extra button on their calculator called lucky dip…. had me in tears, I have spent my last month chasing my tail with these payments too, please share your wisdom with me, I’ ready to GIVE UPPPPP.

    How do you do it ? I’ve chased PPA, I’ve spoken/ cried with payments teams, I’ve checked and re checked bank statements, I’ve de coded remittance slips- to no avail – lucky dip it is. any positive experience is welcomed. Nothing makes sense….so glad it’s not just me.


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