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Bursaries for practice managers NHS England currently in talks with the Practice Management Network

By Rob Muddiman on 20 Sep 2016

Student bursaries for practice managers could be implemented as part of the Practice Management Development Programme. NHS England and the Practice Management Network are currently in talks over bursaries to fund students across two programmes; an existing level 2 practice manager programme, and a new advanced practice manager programme at level 5.

The new programme would provide practice managers with the experience to work on “a much bigger federated working model”, also allowing those who have recently graduated to apply for roles in NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and GP federations.

Steve Williams, co-chair of the Practice Management Network said: “The programme is still being developed alongside the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC). I can confirm that the Practice Management Network put forward a proposal to NHS England, which included bursaries for specific educational training”.

In addition to this, one of the issues NHS England has is that it doesn’t really know the skill workforce. What level are practice managers? What’s their background?

“What we’re aiming to do is to identify who these people are, what their skill level is and where appropriate, provide them with the necessary support structure in terms of professional qualification.”

Williams said the new programme will create a much needed career path for practice managers who sometimes “drift into practice management”.

The bursaries will benefit people who are about to finish their secondary education and who are looking to start a vocational career, as well as existing practice managers.

While Williams said it is still unclear whether funding would come through NHS England or Health Education England, he said a half million pound investment would be enough to generate 1,000 qualified practice managers every year.

He said: “If you were to look at say a half million pound investment through Health Education England per annum, it’s a small proportion of their overall spending on education.”

Details of how the £6 million practice manager development programme will be spent have yet to be released by NHS England.

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Source: Management in Practice