Plan your practice’s life cycle

We are in tough times for private practice, but when private hospitals are released from NHS control, we will see a surge in demand for private medicine, believes Ian Tongue.

It will take time, but the private medical market will revert to normal. When it does, the more conventional stages of private practice are likely to restore.

But no doubt there will be some permanent changes to the delivery of some services. 

Here are the typical stages that an independent practitioner carrying out private work will go through during their career in non-Covid-19 times. 

Starting out

Deciding to carry out private work is a significant commitment of your time and effort and therefore ensuring you run your private practice well from the start is the key to success.  

It may sound obvious, but when carrying out private work, you are running a business and it can be surprising how difficult the responsibilities felt towards patients are when you are charging for your services.

Taking advice at the start provides you with a significant head start. Speaking to colleagues is normally the starting point to assessing the market for your specialty in the area you work. 

Most are happy to discuss things, as they will recall being in the same position themselves, but you need to appreciate that you may be additional competition for them, particularly in the post-Covid world.