STAFFING – Practice Manpower and Salary Surveys 2015


The GP Manpower Survey that was carried out during Many and June 2015 shows that a large proportion of family doctors now work four days or less per week. There has been a major change in the way GPs work since the Labour GP Contract 2004. Prior to that 87% of GPs worked full time – 9 sessions over 5 days. It would appear that full time has now become 4 days over 8 sessions. Whilst as a former GP Practice Manager I have considerable sympathy with the workload that GPs are now faced with it seems that to allow GPs to set their own working hours and draw up their own local contracts has and now is working against the new Governments desire that GPs should provide a 7 day per week service.

As a patient I would like to be able to see the same doctor each time I attend the surgery and to achieve this it is no good GPs working 2 or 3 days a week part time. There can be no continuity of care. Prior to 2004 there were severe restrictions on the type of contract issued to GPs by the now defunct Medical Practices Committee. GPs either worked full time (5 days), three quarter time (4 days) and half time (2/3 days). The shift in balance between male and female doctors is one reason for the change. Another is the desire of long serving GPs approaching retirement to work less than full time – assuming it does not affect their pension. The high workload caused by an ageing population and immigration also affects the ability of GPs to deliver a high quality service.

You may well ask what the solution is. But in my mind it is not just a question of throwing money at it. NHS England needs to monitor exactly how many sessions each GP is carrying out and as a simple check divide the list size by 225 to determine how many sessions are needed in a practice. This assumes that a GP can deal with a personal list size of 1,800 patients. Practices are trying various ways of coping with demand. Telephone consultations are now very popular but not triaging patients to decide whether they are seen today. The employment of nurse practitioners is also successful.  I am not sure whether gathering practices together to form a ‘hub’ to provide extended hours services is ideal as how can there be continuity of care and I might have chosen not to use a particular surgery or doctor in the hub.

I do think it is a big ask to solve the GP Manpower problem but it needs to be realized that GPs have made it more difficult for themselves by working a four day or less week. I am told it would be a very touchy subject to raise, but how many taxpayers and patients can choose to work less than full time!

Nevertheless as a good read of the survey will show the standard and quality of service provided by our hard working GPs is still at the highest level but you can’t get blood out of a stone.

The full report can be viewed here:

Final Report Manpower Survey 58 June 2015


“The Results are in”. Click Below

The Final Survey Report Monday 9th March 2015 is now published on the page Salary and Workload Survey


FINDING 1: 67% of Practice Managers earn more than £35,000 per annum.

FINDING 2: Almost 48% of Practice Managers have been in post for no more than 5 years. 

FINDING 3: 37.5% of Practice Managers are contracted to work part-time whilst a 37.5 hour NHS working week is not the STANDARD for practice managers.

FINDING 4: List Size alone does not set the Salary of a Practice Manager but it’s still a guide; workload has many varying factors studied in the report

FINDING 5: South East Practice Manager’s including Greater London are paid the highest salaries but are they paid London Weighting.

FINDING 6: Unpaid duties and extended working hours affect workload of Practice Managers and many managers now have time-consuming outside commitments.


One Manager said that there had not been a pay rise in four years. Another said that the ’employers’ did not want to increase part time hours of work.

Many thanks to all those ‘very busy’ and ‘under-valued’ practice managers who submitted survey forms. I do realize that there is often a reluctance to share salary details but ‘we’ all complain about workload. The surprising elements of the results was the range of salaries in use and the number of part-time managers in post. A significant proportion of managers have been in post for 5 years or less and there as a great variation in the working week.

The results are set out on a PAGE headed Salary and Workload Survey 2015 but attached to this post is a Newsletter which sets out the broad findings.

I would also like to thank James Dillon of Practice Index Ltd for his support. You can view responses to ‘threads’ on

Download a copy of the Newsletter

Practice Managers Survey Newsletter Final Version (1)

Download a copy of the Summary Tables……

Preliminary Survey Report SUMMARY SURVEY REPORT FEB 24 2015

Now is the time of year to start talking about your salary and your working hours. Do your ’employers’ actually realize how many hours you work. Have you kept a records and more importantly have you told them. I presented a list once of over 60 tasks I had to complete – it made an impression. Guilt set in! I also used to work on Saturday mornings for no extra pay. I worked on average 42 hours per week. More fool me. Remember Fiddler on the Roof – If I were a rich man. Don’t Topol over whilst trying to balance on the ‘roof’!

Robert Campbell