It is a fact of life that medical practices will frequently experience a change of partners, triggered by retirements or leaving for pastures new. This event has significant financial and administrative implications some of which we consider below and which Practice Managers need to be aware of.
These can broadly be summarised as follows:-
– Place notices in the reception area advising patients of the partnership change.
– Advise the practice insurers of the partnership change.
– See to changing the practice letterhead and any other relevant stationery.
– See to the amendment of all practice signs in and around the surgery premises.
– Advise any other relevant suppliers of the partnership change. If paid by the practice, this could of course relate to the doctor’s mobile phone for example.
– If the practice is registered for VAT (normally dispensing practices) advise HM Revenue & Customs of the partnership change.
– Advise the practice solicitors to deal with the legal documents in connection with transferring the title to the property and any other assets. There are implications here for both freehold and leasehold premises.
– In the absence of a partnership agreement, advise the practice solicitors to draw up a retirement deed.
– Ensure that all terms relating to an outgoing partner contained in the partnership deed are adhered to.
– Agree in advance with the primary care organisation that the existing GMS or PMS contract remains intact.
– Advise the primary care organisation and the NHS Pensions Agency. Advise both organisations of the pending admission of a new doctor into the partnership.
– Advise the partnership bankers to change the name on the account and deal with any matters relating to partnership loans.
As can be seen, there is much to be done when there is a partnership change but it is worth getting it right if only to avoid an expensive and time consuming partnership dispute sometime in the future.
If you would like more information on this topic, please contact Debbie Wood on 01253 404404.