Your views on setting up in private practice

MDU survey

Independent Practitioner Today is running a survey with the Medical Defence Union to get consultants’ views on setting up or growing their private practice.

We would value hearing from readers currently undertaking both private and/or NHS work. If you could spare 5-10 minutes, we’d appreciate your answers to this survey. 

In return, you can choose to enter a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon e-gift card.

Responses will be anonymised and the results of the survey published by Independent Practitioner Today, but no personal information will be passed on.

Thank you for your time completing this survey.

Here is a sight of your questions. To actually complete your questionnaire, please do it online on the the MDU website by going to 

1. What position best describes your current role?

A) Consultant currently working in private practice. (Go to Q3).

B) Consultant looking to establish a private practice. (Go to Q2).

C) Other (please state).

2. What is the likelihood of you becoming a private practitioner in the next five years? 

A) I am more likely to become one in the next five years.

B) I am less likely to become one in the next five years.

C) I am not sure whether I will become one or not.

3. What is the likelihood of you growing your private practice in the next 5 years? 

A) Yes, I am likely to grow my private practice in the next five years. 

B) No, my private practice is likely to remain a similar size over the next five years. 

C) I am not sure whether or not my practice will grow over the next five years. 

4. Do you still/intend to still undertake work for the NHS alongside your private practice work? 

A) Yes.

B) No.

C) Not sure.

D) Do not undertake work for the NHS. 

5. What was/is the motivation for undertaking private practice work? (Tick all that apply)

A) Better work/life balance. 

B) A new challenge/experience. 

C) Financial compensation. 

D) Greater job satisfaction. 

E) Desire to focus on a particular clinical area/further develop a
specialist interest.

F) Other (please explain). 

6. What do you feel are the challenges of becoming a private practitioner? (Tick all that apply)

A) Marketing yourself/your practice. 

B) Lack of employee benefits due to being self-employed – for example, sick pay, maternity/paternity pay etc. 

C) Arranging indemnity cover for yourself/employees. 

D) Managing patient data. 

E) Patient satisfaction.

F) Growing demand for tele-medicine appointments 

G) Impact on work-life balance. 

H) Other (please explain). 

7. What challenges have you faced/anticipate when running a private practice? (Tick all that apply)

A) Running a business. 

B) Protecting patient data.

C) Scheduling appointments.

D) Billing patients.

E) Navigating the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulation requirements – in England only.

F) Dealing with patient complaints. 

G) Complying with tax requirements.

H) Patient satisfaction.

I) Growing demand for telehealth appointments.

J) Other challenges (please explain).

8. What aspect of setting up in private practice would you like to learn more about? (Tick all that apply)                                                                                                  

A) Professional/corporate indemnity. 

B) Marketing your practice. 

C) How to establish a private practice and ensure it stands out from the crowd.

D) Establishing a private practice while maintaining any existing NHS commitments .

F) Complying with CQC requirements. 

G) Complying with the data protection obligations.

H) Financial planning, including tax, National Insurance and PAYE.

I) Other (please explain).

9. Do you have any further comments about your experiences of setting up in private practice generally that you would like to share? [Write your answer]

The opening page of the survey on the MDU website. The survey will close at midnight on 24 September – see ‘terms’