Whether you’re a doctor or a dentist, setting up a medical practice can be incredibly rewarding, giving you more time to spend with patients while making a real contribution to the health of the local community.1
But establishing any new business is a big step that requires lots of planning and preparation if it is to be a success, so it’s important to think carefully about every aspect of your new medical practice before you take the plunge.
The first step is to think about your goals in setting up a medical practice. Consider the kinds of services and treatments you’d like to offer and do your research to assess the likely level of demand as well as any competition you’ll be up against. This will help you to create a realistic and compelling business plan, while helping to guide your thinking around many things, from your medical practice location and equipment to staffing.2
Where to Set-up Your Medical Practice
As with any business, the location of your medical practice is likely to be very important, so don’t leave anything to chance. Do your research, looking at everything from demographics to parking, to understand your potential customer base, and how easily they will be able to access your premises.
But don’t overlook the detail when it comes to specific properties. Remember that disabled access is important, as well as ventilation for plant equipment, and the overall size of the premises – particularly with future growth in mind. Finally, consider the aesthetics of the building, given that a professional look and feel can help to build customer confidence.2
The Cost of Setting up a Practice
Clearly, there are likely to be costs associated with setting up a medical practice, so creating and maintaining a realistic budget is going to be very important. It should include all set-up costs, such as premises, refurbishment, equipment, maintenance, staff costs, marketing and any other costs you can realistically foresee.2
Together with your business plan, this detailed budget will be helpful if you need to approach lenders or investors for set-up funding.1
Setting up a Medical Practice: Staff
While you may not need a large amount of staff in the early days, you may want to employ a practice manager to help with administration and most of the day-to-day running of your medical practice – allowing you to focus on patient care.
In addition, you may require a small team to look after issues such as infection prevention and control, compliance, customer enquiries, ordering supplies, cleaning and more, so think carefully about your needs.2
Medical Practice Equipment
Setting up a medical practice may also involve buying or leasing equipment. That will include general office furniture, but also medical equipment – from thermometers to x-ray machines – though the exact equipment you need will depend on whether you’re opening a medical or dental practice and the services you will offer.
Remember too that, once you have equipment in place, it will require regular maintenance, so be sure to factor those costs into your ongoing business plan.2
Good Medical Practice: Regulation and Compliance
The medical industry is, of course, a heavily regulated sector – overseen by organisations such as the General Medical Council, General Dental Council,3 and the Care Quality Commission.4
Therefore, you will need to know the regulations and register your new medical practice with the relevant authorities. The British Medical Association has produced detailed guidance on the regulation of doctors, while a similar guide to the regulation of dentists is available from the British Dental Association. The General Medical Council also provides downloadable guides with details of the expected standards.
Medical Practice Insurance
When setting up a medical practice, it’s all too easy to see insurance for your surgery as just another cost.
In truth, however, the right insurance can play a crucial role in helping to ensure the success of your medical practice. It’s about peace of mind, the knowledge that your surgery insurance will protect you and your business against unexpected mishaps – from damage to your premises and injuries to staff or customers, to claims made against any treatments you provide or prescriptions you issue.
What’s more, finding the right insurance for your medical practice can be quick and easy – you can get a quote and buy online in minutes – so why leave the future of your medical practice to chance?
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