For a general practice to function effectively, a large number of non-clinical staff are needed. In a large practice there may be as many as eighty staff, of which around half may be in support roles. Many of these roles overlap, particularly in smaller practices. The roles include:


These are usually on the front desk of the practice and the first face a patient will see when attending for an appointment. Receptionists need to have good interpersonal skills, be clear communicators, able to handle conflict and deal with pressure.

Call handlers

Larger practices may have staff who only deal with telephone calls coming into the practice. They need to have a good telephone manner and verbal communication skills, have good skills in customer service, be efficient and IT literate.

Medical secretaries

Medical secretaries deal with correspondence going out from, and into, the practice. These will often be referrals to and from other clinicians. They require good keyboard skills, a good telephone manner, IT skills and a knowledge of medical terminology.

IT specialist

IT specialists deal with IT-related issues with the practice system, ensuring good information security.


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