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What you might need to look for as a new practice manager

by in GP Practice Management, Practice Life, Practice Manager

Apart from wondering whether you should have taken on the job in the first place, what other factors should you consider on commencing your new role? This checklist is intended to help you through the quagmire of challenges you might face!

  1. Contract of employment: Have you received a formal, written job offer along with detailed terms and conditions of your employment?
  2. Care Quality Commission: Registration – Is the ‘current’ partnership registered with the CQC and has a registered manager been approved by the CQC? (Look at the CQC website: www.cqc.org.uk/)
  3. Partnership agreement: Is there an up-to-date partnership agreement in place?
  4. Websites: Have a look at the surgery website, the NHS Choices website and the CQC website to check they all correctly reflect the membership of the practice, both doctors and staff. You’ll need a password.
  5. Banking arrangements: Make sure you have access to the practice bank accounts, at least to view transactions and balances and set up payments to be authorised. Does the practice use online banking, have a bank debit card and use a card-reader payment device? Is there a set of standing financial instructions?
  6. Practice accounts: Make sure you have full access to the practice accounts and that the routine bookkeeping and bank reconciliation is up to date and within your immediate control. You’ll need to be familiar with the accounts software and have a password.
  7. Drawings: Gain an understanding of the monthly consistency and content of regular drawings. Are they adjusted to include personal expenses and prior allocations?
  8. Payments: Direct debits and standing orders – Examine regular payments, and check for direct debits and the timeliness of regular payments, such as Inland Revenue and NHS Pensions (19th of the month). Does the payment of drawings coincide with the receipt of NHS regular monthly payments?
  9. Leases: Check to what extent the practice is committed to long-term leases for equipment. If there’s been a change of ownership of the practice, is your practice still tied into a lease agreement?
  10. Premises: Ensure the payment of rent and rates reimbursement matches, for instance, the annual business rates costs and the notional rent is reviewed at the appropriate intervals. Beware of service charges and maintenance payments.
  11. Financial review: Review bank statements for evidence of duplicate or erroneous payments. Is there a cash-flow report and a budget to hand?
  12. Payroll: Make sure staff are paid at least the National Living Wage and that payments to Inland Revenue are being made each month (by the 19th). Check whether there’s clarity about pay scales, incremental progression, if any, and overtime rates. Ensure you have full access to the payroll software and a password.
  13. Petty cash: Ensure the separation of incoming and outgoing cash. Arrangements should be in place to bank cheques regularly.
  14. Private income: Is there a published scale of fees for private work and is a full record kept of invoices raised and income received?
  15. NHS Pensions: Ensure new starters and leavers have been added or removed from the NHS Pensions website and that annual members’ contribution updates have been completed. Check that monthly payment information has been updated on the Pensions website and that payments of contributions have been made on time.
  16. Staff: Contracts – Make certain all staff have a contract of employment, references and professional registration checks as well as evidence of DBS reports where necessary. Do you have an employee handbook, an induction handbook and training manuals?
  17. Staff: Transfer of undertakings – Has there been a significant change in the membership of the partnership resulting in a change of employer? Have staff received written confirmation of the change of employer?
  18. Staff: Appraisals – Check when and whether the annual staff appraisals are due.
  19. Staff: Training – Ensure adequate records are available to demonstrate that mandatory staff training has been provided.
  20. NHS income: Review NHS income for consistency and ensure the regularity of claims and data input across all areas of income sources, including QOF, CQRS, Enhanced Services and any local quality payments.
  21. Passwords: Obtain a set of personal passwords for access to the computer network, the clinical system, PCSE, the CCG portal, NHS Pensions, the Inland Revenue gateway, CQRS and Open Exeter.
  22. CQC inspection: Check the content of the last CQC inspection report and ensure that any criticisms are corrected and that the practice is ready for another inspection. This might include an Infection Control report, Significant Events and Complaints records and reviews.
  23. CQC policies: Ensure that a set of current policies, protocols and procedures are in place, in the form of a manual that’s easily accessible, and that a business plan is prepared.
  24. Network: Establish a network of contacts with the CCG, NHS England and any local federation or primary care network.
  25. Hours of work and workload: Make sure your employer’s fully aware of your workload and hours of work.
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Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell

Former GP Practice Manager with over 25 years experience working in Upton, near Pontefract, Seacroft in Leeds, Tingley in Wakefield, Heckmondwike and more recently Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. www.gpsurgerymanager.co.uk

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