Health service manager

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Hospital manager, NHS hospital manager

Health service managers run local healthcare services like hospitals, GP practices and community health services.

Salary Range: £30,000 to £100,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
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A common way into this job is through a degree in a health or management-related subject.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
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You can get into this job through a chartered manager degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
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You can get into health service management by working your way up from an administrative or clinical role within the NHS.

You’re likely to need 4 to 5 GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and possibly A levels or equivalent for an administrator role.

With experience, you can move up to supervisory or management level. You can find useful courses to help you do this through the Institute of Administrative Management.

The MSc in Healthcare Leadership is suitable for doctors, pharmacists, allied health professionals, nurses, midwives and non-clinical staff who want to advance into a senior management position.

Direct application

The most direct route into health service management is through the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. To apply, you’ll need a degree, or an equivalent qualification, in healthcare or management.

You can apply directly if you already have management experience from the private, public or voluntary sector.

There are some management roles, like those in finance, purchasing or human resources, where you may not need previous experience of the NHS.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could apply to become a member of the Institute of Healthcare Management. This would give you access to professional development opportunities and professional recognition.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a health service manager from Health Careers.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • administration skills
  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • working with clinical staff and other professionals
  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • dealing with the health service’s day-to-day performance
  • setting and managing budgets
  • writing reports and giving presentations
  • using data to monitor and improve services
  • making sure regulations are followed
  • managing premises and security

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital or at a GP practice.

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You’ll increase your chances for career progression if you complete a higher level management qualification, like a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or a diploma in management studies (DMS).

You could also apply for jobs at director or chief executive level.