Becoming a health service manager requires you to be comfortable accepting a significant level of responsibility.
Your role might involve responsibility for the staff of an entire hospital service or a multimillion-pound budget in a hospital trust. It could mean managing mental health services or primary care across a whole region.
As a health service manager you will specialise in an area such as human resources, finance, health informatics, policy and strategy, or general management.
With a history spanning over 120 years, our School of Health & Psychological Sciences is a world-leading centre for healthcare education and applied healthcare research. At City, University of London we have the resources and expertise to set you on course for a career as a health service manager.
What can I expect from a career as a health service manager?
Your experience as a health service manager will vary depending on the specific health service where you are working. But the nature of the job means you can be certain of accepting a high level of responsibility from the start.
Depending on your speciality, you could be responsible for financial, strategic or daily operations involved in a hospital, general practitioner practice or community health service.
You will work in either a National Health Service (NHS) setting or in a private healthcare setting. Your role could involve manage costs, delivery and quality of services, maintaining a keen awareness of policy and specific local demands.
Key responsibilities are likely to include several of the following:
- Directing and managing medical and non-medical resources
- Designing new services and implementing change
- Recruiting and appraising staff
- Managing budgets
- Handling complaints from staff and patients
- Assessing quality in line with government standards
- Gathering and analysing data
- Ensuring patients receive value for money
- Managing contracts and service delivery agreements
- Arranging and monitoring clinical governance
- Corporate communications
- Estate management involving catering, cleaning, portering and security
- Planning new provision and development.
Your role is likely to be challenging because you are expected to lead change and implement new policies. Change can often face resistance so you will need the communication skills to clearly promote the benefits to stakeholders.
There is always a wide public interest in public health and this can lead to close external attention and scrutiny of your work. You may encounter lobbying from people in medical professions and direct enquiries from the media.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a health service manager, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career as a health service manager, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
Who can I work for as a health service manager?
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK employs many health service managers in hospitals, general practitioner surgeries and community health services.
You can also find job opportunities at private sector clinics and hospitals. BMI Healthcare is the largest private hospital group in the UK. The armed forces also have positions for health service managers.
What about work experience as a health service manager?
Having work experience in health services will always be an asset. It can help you gain an insight into working life inside a hospital or community health service. It also reflects your commitment to the vocation, which can help to give you an advantage when it comes to getting a job.
Relevant current affairs knowledge is also key alongside experience. To win a position on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme you need to show a detailed awareness of NHS issues and challenges.
Such knowledge is essential to gaining work as a health service manager across the private sector or the NHS.
What are my prospects as a health service manager?
Your prospects as a dedicated, diligent and motivated health service manager are good. With serious responsibility right from the start of working life, your career should advance rapidly.
If successful in winning a place and completing the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, you will be helped to find your first management post.
Within ten years of completing training you might move into director or chief executive level roles.
If your career journey travels through junior management or an administrative role, you might benefit from taking professional qualifications in management or relevant specialist areas such as facilities management, human resources or finance.
Geographical mobility can also be useful to your career, enabling you to move to locations with the best opportunities.