The Management in Practice Salary Survey reveals that the average annual salary of a full-time GP practice manager is £48,802.
The pay report, Practice Manager Salary Survey 2023/24: gauging the state of the profession, produced in association with MCG Healthcare, also found that pay scales for practice managers are very broad, ranging from under £20,000 to more than £100,000 (for both part-time and full-time workers).
The survey of 975 practice managers in the UK found that the largest group – 34% – reported earning between £41,000 and £50,000 a year. Only 1% earn between £81,000 and £100,000.
The majority (77%) of practice managers received a pay rise in the past year, with most being awarded between 2% and 5%.
And two fifths of practice managers receive a monetary bonus, with 61% of that group awarded bonuses worth between 6% and 15% of their base salary.
The comprehensive pay report offers insight into how practice manager pay is determined with the most common factor being affordability regardless of market rates or other factors (42%).
More than a quarter said that at their surgery, practice manager pay is based on their level of specialist skills around finances, such as knowledge of QOF and the GP contract (28%), and on number of years of experience in the job (26%).
A total of 13% of respondents admitted they didn’t know how pay levels were set.
Unsurprisingly, pay is linked to practice managers’ commitment to staying in the job.
Despite 65% of respondents saying they are either very or fairly satisfied in their job, nearly two fifths admit they are thinking of leaving their job within the next 12 months.
And around three quarters of that cohort indicated that pay not keeping apace with the cost of living/inflation or that it doesn’t reflect the level of their work responsibilities/workload was in their top five reasons for considering quitting.
The survey results highlighted the range of benefits practice managers are offered as part of their employment package. The top three are membership of the NHS pension (78%), enhanced annual leave (62%), and free parking at work (60%).
Meanwhile, findings also showed that practice managers are responsible for a long list of duties that run to more than 20 areas and include: maximising finances and funding streams; purchasing and procurement; managing both non-clinical and clinical teams; HR; business planning; preparing for CQC assessment; IT and data security and more.
In larger organisations, this range of functions would be split among a number of different people or teams, yet in primary care these specialised roles are often tasked to just one person, the practice manager, the survey reports. This demonstrates the pressures practice managers face.
The Management in Practice Salary Survey also gives insight into:
- Pay levels in different regions
- Level of bonuses and targets set
- The range of employee benefits offered
- What experience and responsibilities the highest earners have.
Management in Practice editor, Rima Evans said: ‘Overwhelmingly, the survey results, together with comments from respondents, present evidence of a profession that derives great satisfaction from the work it does and takes pride in doing it well. Nevertheless, many practice managers are being pushed to their limit, with a significant proportion wanting to leave.
‘This is very worrying. If a demotivated practice manager workforce continues to be overlooked, primary care will lose the very people keeping it running smoothly and efficiently, which could threaten its future.’
Management in Practice is tailored to practice managers, GPs and healthcare professionals working in primary care, and carries essential news updates, blogs and business information for GP surgeries.
About the survey:
An online survey was carried out among Management in Practice readers based in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland between 13 June and 16 July 2023, and had 975 respondents. Only non-partner practice managers based in permanent roles (part-time or full-time) were allowed to participate.