Keep It Legal
Stephen Hooper and Simon Eastwood give some essential guidance on practising privileges for independent practitioners.
Most doctors who have a private practice will have an arrangement agreed with a private service provider, commonly a large organisation which operates several private health facilities.
That service provider allows the individual doctor to have practising privileges at a venue, generally a private hospital where healthcare services can be provided to the public.
In general, doctors in private practice apply for privileges to be granted at a facility, subject to suitability checks, history and appropriate defence cover.
These arrangements are, of course, extremely important to many practitioners, not least because of the income that can be generated.
It is also important for the service provider, which invests large sums of money in establishing facilities; and without doctors providing the individual service, those facilities would, of course, not be operational.
So it is an arrangement of mutual benefit. But the dynamics of the arrangement are such that it is rather different to the employer/employee relationship most hospital doctors will experience, when working with NHS trusts.
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