PMN team

PMN Team

Steve Donlan, Management Partner, Ironopolis Medical Group

Practice Management Network Co-chair

After working for 15 years in a variety of management roles in the steel industry, Steve Donlan joined the Endeavour Practice as practice manager in Middlesbrough in 2006. He became a partner two years later. In 2017, the practice underwent an administrative merger with another practice to form the Ironopolis Medical Group. Steve served as a non-executive director of his local GP federation, ELM Alliance, which provides the Out-of-Hours service for his CCG area. He is chair/finance lead of his Primary Care Network and is co-chair of the Practice Management Network.

Vanessa Young, Practice Manager, Vine Medical Centre

Practice Management Network Co-chair Vanessa is a practice manager based in East Molesey in Surrey where she started in 2012. In 2002, she began working as a receptionist in a busy city centre surgery and was promoted to practice manager in 2005. She then went on to work at both rural and city practices of varying sizes.  Vanessa’s current practice has approximately 6,500 patients and 2  part time partners and 2 salaried GPs.  Vanessa also works 2 days per week for NHS digital as a Practice Manager SME. Vanessa is currently the Chair for EMIS NUG and co-chair for the Practice Managers Network.

Moira Auchterlonie, Chief Executive, Family Doctor Association

Moira has worked in primary care for two decades, leaving secondary care for the promise of a primary care-led NHS. She remains an optimist despite being in touch with the trials and tribulations of 5,000+ jobbing GPs. She describes herself as a practical, common sense thinker even with degrees in economics, law and leadership. Her portfolio includes: DH stakeholder network, NHS England, CQC, FDA education innovation and corporate business development. She is Trustee of the National Association for Patient Participation.

Myra UptonMyra Upton, President of Amspar

Myra’s NHS background started in 1991, when she became a GP receptionist 5 years then a GP administrator 6 years. Myra went on to summarise PCT notes for GP records and became the PCT information Governance Officer. For the last five and a half years, Myra has served as a Community IT Systems Training Manager. Myra retired four years ago to spend time with her little grandsons before her son moved to Australia and so she could give more time to Amspar. She has been a member of Amspar and a qualified Practice Manager since 1993. She has been President of Amspar for seven years.

Sandy Gower, Managing Partner, Bennetts End Surgery

Sandy is Managing Partner at Bennetts End Surgery where she works with 11 GP partners serving around 17,500 patients. She has 25 years’ experience of primary care management and patient participation, currently being a Trustee of the National Association for Patient Participation and a carers champion. Her relentless passion for ‘making a difference’ throughout her career has led to her becoming the first practice manager to be awarded Honorary Fellowship of The Royal College of General Practitioners. She contributed to the setting up of the national Practice Management Network in 2009, being the first chair, and continues to serve on the steering group.

Val Hempsey, Practice Lead, Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group

Val, who has worked in primary care within general practice since 1979, was awarded Practice Manager of the Year in the National Primary Care Awards 2006. She has been a practice manager since 1989, and in 2006 became sole contractor of Bridges Medical Practice after being a partner for some years. She was the ‘last man standing’ after a series of retirements, emigration and sickness, but with the LMC’s support and encouragement she became the first practice manager in the country to be sole contractor employing GPs as salaried. Val semi retired in 2019 but has continued to be a voice for PM’s and also does work at failing practices and for PM’s who need support. She has maintained her link to Bridges but has stepped down as a Partner after encouraging one of the Salaried GP’s to step up and allow her to retire (sort of).  She mainly continues her support work as mentor/coach and acting PM’s in the NE but does travel if asked. She is mainly approached by LMC’s, CCG’s but also at the request of other PM’s.

Alison Sample, Practice Manager, The Whickham Practice

Alison is a Practice Manager at the Whickham Practice. Alison is dedicated to and heavily involved in the work of the Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning group and as a result, has taken a lead role in the group.