How do doctors see private practice?

The results of a survey conducted by the MDU and Independent Practitioner Today.

What consultants told us about setting up in private practice

Understanding how to set up with the various insur­ance companies and ensure you remain visible at the top of their lists is difficult to navigate.

Having a good secretary with robust billing arrangements is the key.

Having a good PA is essential.

I set up my own website and for one to two years had zero hits, but once I signed up with Nuffield Health, AXA, Bupa etc, I get lots – too many – inquiries

Was involved in a medico-legal practice for over 30 years. Setting this up was relatively easy. I had advice from colleagues. 

Advice about taxation and emp­loyer regulations with regards to employer-employee issues with regards to my receptionist and my secretary would have been very welcome when I started. However, the biggest issue is that there is no advice as to how to close down a medico-legal private practice.

I support the NHS, always have and always will. I didn’t go into medicine for the money, which, frankly, I believe this is the core drive to private practice. I work in a deprived area; patients couldn’t afford private practice and I simply am not of the mindset to take money from my patients.

Civica Medical Billing

The ultimate challenge to being a full-time private practitioner is being good enough to attract patients to pay their hard-earned money for your services.

Work needs to be done to upgrade anaesthetic fees. Significant discrepancy between surgical and anaesthetic fees.

Challenging getting admin support in place.

Difficulties accessing private prescriptions has been major headache.

A challenge at the start, but getting the hang of things.

There’s a lot to learn on the finances side: tax, National Insurance, PAYE, the pros and cons of different business structures – sole trade vs limited company.

Difficulties in using my own equipment in a private hospital.

Pharmaceutical medicine is very established as a private speciality. I am exploring expand­ing my practice to the far east.

I was supported by my NHS trust who have a private practice set-up alongside the NHS trust. Therefore, from setting up to advertising was all done by my trust and my private secretary. They even found me a very efficient secretary who helped with initial paperless service.

Would encourage consul­tants to have their own professional website which is not too ‘corporate’ but tell potential patients about you and your practice. 

Conflict of interest by those attempting to practise in private sector and simultaneously working in NHS sector is concerning.