day-in-the-life

Multi-award-winning Primary Care Manager Tracy Dell wears many hats – Practice Manager, Business Manager, PCN Manager, Management Consultant, Trainer, Appraiser. She has spent more than 26 years working in healthcare management and recently picked up a PMA lifetime achievement award

How do you start your day?
I’m an early bird – usually up at 6am. After a bowl of porridge and a defcaf tea, I start work at 7am – this gives me an hour ‘phone free’ before we open to set myself up for the day. I work on site in practice and from home. I like the blended approach. Mostly of my work is locally based, so it’s only a short commute with the exception of the delivery of training and conference work.

No two days are the same. But what does a typical day look like for you?
I live by lists! It’s nice to cross things off as I complete them. Never goes to plan though! The minute I step into a practice or log on to the clinical system, email account and practice intranet, the messages and requests flood in and I re-prioritise my list(s) constantly. My day mainly consists of a wide range of tasks including finance, IT, HR, contracting, patient services and random odd jobs (today I was a car park attendant too! Some days it’s unblocking toilets and changing lightbulbs)

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Primary Care management is the most challenging work I have ever done but by far the most rewarding. Working with patients and people. I love the variety – and the challenge. I appreciate that we have the freedom to flex in general practice and make changes quickly to benefit patients. I get great satisfaction from developing staff and watching them grow.

What has been the biggest challenge of the pandemic?
Dealing with the additional workload including staff shortages (we – and our families – are all impacted by Covid too), unrealistic expectations, unnecessary bureaucracy and pushing ourselves to the limit has been hard.

How do you relax and recharge?
It is important to switch off even though it is extremely difficult in this type of role. Family and friends are the best. Spending precious time with them grounds me. I am blessed with the most amazing family with two beautiful grandchildren. I also enjoy horse riding, reading and gardening. I love my holidays and get away as often as I can.

You can follow Tracy on
Twitter at @TracycDell