Manchester Practice Management Conference – The Story of the Day

The Practice Management Conference made its latest stop in the exclusive surroundings of Bridgewater Hall on a bright and sunny day in Manchester, and proved to be another great success.

We wanted to give you a taste of how the day went, as well as share a few tips from our panel of expert speakers, so we’ve put together this guide to what we learned, what we loved and how good the food was!

8.00am  Arrival, set up.

9.00am – Delegates begin to arrive and commence mingling in the foyer with teas, coffees and cookies!

10.30am – Conference begins, with FPM’s General Manager Matthew Wright warming up the crowd with his welcome speech.

10.38 am – Charan Sarai delivers her topic GP Forward View: Where Are We?

The focus is on general practice and, more specifically, general practice in crisis. This leads on to preventative steps and the Ten High Impact Actions that have been put forward by NHS England. Charan then advises how to get the best from the funding out there, and quick - as CQC inspections are back! Cue sighs from across the room.

Charan then goes on to advise what this will mean, one example being more unannounced inspections. She breaks down her top tips on how to be ready for these new CQC regulations.



11.10am – Next presentation - GP Forward View: On the Ground by Kay Ellermeyer. Kay addresses ‘GP Land in Crisis’ with a rallying cry: “It’s been in crisis for years, but we still get up every day and do our jobs.”

Kay mentions three patients that have had a massive impact on her career at the practice. She discusses how these patients, who could be found in any practice, still needed help even though there was little medical help that could be given.

Kay then spoke about the use of apprentices in general practice and her members of staff who were once apprentices.  She passionately expressed the importance of the community vibe in her practice and how it is about being more than just a practice. She revealed how her PPG began on Facebook and how it has grown immensely.



11.40am - Phil Harnby, Director of RMT Healthcare Group, begins his talk on Controlling Cost and Maximising Income: The National Picture:



Phil begins with some of the main issues facing practice managers, ranging from Capita to tax reserves. He then goes on to advise that fraud prevention is a big issue – something to be acutely aware of, especially in light of the recent NHS cyber-attack. He gives the example of a large firm in Canary Wharf that had a talk with their internal IT security team on cyber security. The next day an email was sent deliberately by internal IT team disguised as a spam email offering a free coffee, and 75% of staff clicked on the link!

Phil emphasises the importance of going digital and reveals that by April 2019 practices will need to be using digital methods to record aspects like costing and tax. Phil then moves on to discuss enhancing other income, providing a list of 100-plus ways to make additional funding.

Finally, Phil compares assets vs costs and the real cost of hiring a new member of staff - you’d be rather surprised at the results!

12.30pm – One of the most important times of the day – lunch!



1.30pm – Matthew welcomes us back and Charan commences her second presentation – Habits of Effective PMs. Charan begins by advising how to prioritise and manage time better, explaining what contributes to poor time management - and subsequently demotivation. Everyone agreed that sometimes the feeling can be: “I’m not in the right mindset to give it 100% right now.”

Charan advises on the benefits of self-discipline and provides some proactive steps. She goes on to explain the difference between important and urgent jobs and her answer is the “4D” priority rating:

  • DO

Lastly, Charan moves on to the importance of listening – sharing tips on listening more effectively, improve how you listen, and how to build rapport with the people around you.

2.00pm - FPM’s HR Advisor Lisa Wainwright begins her presentation – Your People: Are They a Cost or an Investment? Lisa opens with the statistics from FPM’s 2017 Staff Salary Survey, advising they remained fairly static apart from salaried GPs, who have seen increased earnings.  She explains that as result of this many could be feeling they are doing more work for less money - not only clinical staff, but admin and clerical roles too, which can the lead to demotivation across the board.

Lisa then goes on to advise on how to get a high performance team without spending a fortune. One example given was introducing rewards schemes, which can prove invaluable for improving motivation with a small financial attachment.

Lisa then goes onto to explain how to improve office relations, while also recognising that difficult conversations need to be had. However she provides some handy tips on handling these conversations. Lisa ends her talk with some scenarios for the audience, who are encouraged to think about the correct course of action on a selection of HR issues.

2.30pm – Time for a refreshment break!


Charan and Kay join the refreshment break, on hand to discuss all things practice management.

2.45pm – Q&A session with speakers. A lot of really useful knowledge is shared to round off a great day!

Stay tuned to the FPM Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages to be among the first to hear about the next leg of our Practice Management Conference – tickets are sure to fly out just as fast as they did for this sold-out event!

A great day was had by all and the FPM team are looking forward to the next Practice Management Conference.


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Practice Manager - Bristol, BS40 6HF

Closing Date: 30 June 2020

Salary: £43,700

Practice Manager - London, Clerkenwell

Closing Date: 10 June 2020

Salary: According to experience

Practice Manager - Bristol, BS40 6HF

Closing Date: 30 June 2020

Salary: £43,700

Practice Manager - London, Clerkenwell

Closing Date: 10 June 2020

Salary: According to experience

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