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The management function is practice-based primary care and who performs it varies by practice. While the number of practice managers increase and their role continues to unfold in response to NHS changes, the development of practice management as a profession is contained if not constrained by GPs, as both employers and as the dominant profession within primary care. This stimulating review of the responsibilities, opportunities and future prospects of management in primary care, based on workshops with GPs and practice managers, identifies their respective management development needs and the ways in which these might be met.