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    Emulate a theme park experience. . .

    . . . but don’t be a Mickey Mouse outfit. In the seventh of her essential series for doctors in ...

Are you fixing prices?

By Robin Stride Independent practitioners are being urged to urgently review if they are competing fairly over fees following the first case of a consultants’ group breaking competition law. The Consultant Eye Surgeons Partnership (CESP) Ltd, representing interests of 37 limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and their 200 consultant members, was fined £382,000 by the Competition […]

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Watchdog renews squeeze on HCA to sell units

The long-running fight for the future of some leading private hospitals in the capital goes on. Robin Stride reports. Swift responses are being demanded to the latest Comp­etition and Markets Authority (CMA) private healthcare report this month, which claims lack of price competition harms customers in London.

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Spies in the room

The idea of a patient secretly recording a consultation is likely to leave a practitioner feeling shocked, uncomfortable or even threatened. However, it may come as a surprise to some doctors that the law offers little or no protection from patients covertly recording consultations. Dr Mary Peddie reports. The increasing use of smartphones and other […]

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Cover: a mounting headache for many

Lawyer Bertie Leigh describes the way in which the increasingly complex world of indemnity insurance contains problems that, he argues, may threaten the stability of many independent practitioners’ state of mind. There can be few more frightening events in the professional life of a doctor than to receive a letter from a solicitor proposing to […]

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Where stressed doctors can go for help

Working in medicine is demanding. With patient expectations on the rise, heavy workloads and the fear of attracting a complaint or clinical negligence claim, it is not surprising that it is impacting on some doctors’ mental well-being. Dr Pallavi Bradshaw examines the issues. Consider the following scenario: a patient presents with low mood, disturbed sleep […]

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Get rid of those hang-ups

Your secretary is the most important person in your practice after you, says surgeon Mr Dev Lall. So do you need to ring the changes? If there’s one thing every business owner seems to complain about, it is problems with staff: hiring, firing and especially managing them.

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So where is my money?

Independent practitioners were warned in Independent Practitioner Today last month to be on the alert for fraudsters targeting their practice finances. But, at the same time, some need to beware they don’t defraud themselves. Here, Gary Nials answers related questions he says he is repeatedly asked by consultants – even those who have been in […]

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When relatives start to intrude

‘Business Dilemmas’ Dr Bev Ward (right), MDU medico-legal adviser, looks at dilemmas you might face when dealing with patients’ relatives.     Dilemma 1 Should I honour secrecy appeal? Q I’m an orthopaedic surgeon and recently performed an arthroscopy on a 60-year-old man. While the patient was still coming round from surgery, the patient’s wife […]

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Is it buy-to-let or buy toilet?

Are buy-to-let properties a suitable investment for you? A lot of doctors think they are. Simon Bruce examines the myth behind the headlines. ‘You can’t go wrong with property’. A phrase we often hear accompanied by an example of substantial house price rises over a 30-year period. But is the buy-to-let market the best investment […]

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Remain afloat in retirement

Doctors will have seen many changes to their pension following the Hutton report. The Government compounded these with a fundamental shake-up of the taxation aspects. These affect the size of a doctor’s pension as well as how much can be saved each year. Ian Tongue explains the changes and how they may affect you. The […]

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Many happy returns

Susan Hutter provides some tips on speeding up and smoothing out the process of filing your tax return. Few private consultants and GPs enjoy the process of gathering information for their tax returns and accounts preparation.

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