What you need to know at the outset

Your private practice is a business and you should run it as such from day one to ensure success. Key financial aspects considered here by Ian Tongue will help ensure you are best placed to maximise the return on your hard efforts

Before you start

Prior to the commencement of trading, it is important to carry out some groundwork. Speaking to colleagues, obtaining professional advice and ensuring you know what you are getting yourself into are all essential.  

Once you are up and running, you will be even more time poor, so spending hours getting everything lined up will really pay off, as you can concentrate on building your private practice.

NHS vs Private

Reaching a successful work-life balance can be difficult, as there are often many opportunities to earn more money as a consultant, whether from additional NHS work or private practice.

Additional NHS work such as waiting list initiatives can often be a fast way of earning some extra money, as the patient is provided to you and very little admin or costs are suffered. 

The flip side is usually a lower fee and less tax-planning opportunities, because, more often than not, waiting list incentives are paid under PAYE when performed for the NHS directly.

Care must be taken when increasing income streams that are superannuable, particularly if they are short-term roles, as they can spike pension growth in the 1995 NHS pension scheme and generate a tax charge.