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3 steps to setting up a GP practice in Britain


3 steps to setting up a GP practice in Britain

Training to be a GP in the UK is a marathon rather than a sprint — it takes around ten years to be a fully qualified General Practitioner.

This is a huge investment in terms of time and money, so few students start the journey unless they believe medicine is their true calling.

But once you’ve worked for a while as a salaried GP you might want to take the plunge and set up your own practice — capitalising on your experience and expertise.

So here are three steps to setting up a GP practice that you should consider a crucial part of your plans.


Hiring the right people to work with is crucial for sustained success.

And collaborating with the right GP partners means you’ll share a common strategic vision with your shareholders from the very start.

You might choose partners that you’ve studied or worked with already — trust is essential because boardroom battles could prevent you focusing on providing excellent care to your community.

Then if there’s capacity, you might need salaried and locum GPs to ensure service delivery is sufficient.

But don’t presume that your technical expertise means you can also run your business smoothly — hire a practice manager who has the relevant training, experience and people skills that allow you to operate at peak level.

Legal compliance

In terms of legal compliance it’s essential that you look before you leap.

Your practise will have to be approved by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

These statutory NHS bodes are responsible for planning and commissioning medical services across their area — so you can’t decide to set up a practice without their consent.

You’ll also need to register with the appropriate regulator — in England this is the General Medical Council.

And there may be other regulators that all of your surgery staff should register with — so seek legal advice to ensure you’re compliant.

Failure to register with your regulator is an offence in itself and could see your practise closed down before it’s even found its feet.

Data protection

Protecting patient data goes hand in hand with operating a successful GP surgery.

You may employ a data protection officer or IT manager — but you definitely need a member of staff who is fully fluent with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Investing in appropriate computer systems and software for data storage is important — but cybercrime concerns mean that there’s still a place for paper-based systems like lloyd george storage.

Setting up any business is challenging, but the requirements for a medical surgery are even more painstaking.

Follow these three steps and your GP practise should be in good shape to serve your community for generations to come.

Do you have any tips for aspiring medics? Share your advice in the comments section.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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