Free Guide: 'Planning Partnership Changes' for GPs and Practice Managers

Posted on 16 May 2013.

Hasty and ill considered partnership changes resulting in expensive and time consuming work for many practices can easily be avoided, according to a new guide published today.

A new free guide, ‘Planning Partnership Changes: A Guide for GP Partnerships’, provides a clear overview of all the main issues involved in changing the partnership structure and gives straightforward guidance on how to ensure a smooth, trouble free transition.

“Partnership changes, such as retirement or new partners joining, are something every GP practice needs to be ready for,” explains Tom Mason, of Neil Mason Associates, one of the report’s authors. “Its very easy to enter into a hastily made agreement without being fully aware of the consequences, but unpicking such an agreement can seriously impact on the overall running of the practice, and consequently, patient care.”

The guide contains a checklist of actions which are particularly relevant to new partners who may not have considered the full financial and legal ramifications of becoming a partner and want to ensure that they protect their future position. It will also help practice managers who may be given overall responsibility for the transition process.

The guide covers all the most important legal, accountancy and premises issues which must be considered and is split into sections covering existing partners, incoming partners and retiring partners. The guide covers:

  • the importance of having a proper Partnership Agreement and what it should contain
  • how and why the premises should be valued
  • how incoming partners can assess whether the premises are fit for current and future use
  • financial questions including the process of buying-in to the practice loan, raising equity and the income tax / capital gains tax implications. 

The report's authors are:

Tom Mason MRICS
RICS Registered Valuer
Tom is a partner at Neil Mason Associates, chartered surveyors specialising in the healthcare and commercial property sector. He advises clients on surgery valuations, Notional Rent Appeals, third party rental valuations and the disposal and acquisition of property. Tom is currently advising LMCs how NHS changes will affect practices occupying NHS owned premises and is an active member of the Primary Care Premises Forum.

Jeremy Hill
Jeremy is a solicitor and managing partner at the Michael Hill Partnership. He specialises in commercial property, partnership and primary health care matters advising GP, pharmacy and dental practices and groups throughout England. Recent presentations to LMCs and GPs include ‘The viability of incorporation of GP practices’ and ‘Health Centre Practices - the effects of the transfer of property from PCTs to NHS Property Services Ltd’. He is an active member of the Primary Care Premises Forum.

Steve Cosford
Steve has worked at Grant Thornton for 25 years and leads a healthcare team specialising in general medical practitioner clients. He works extensively with the team and clients on accounting and business issues affecting GPs as well as other entrepreneurial businesses. 
He presents to GPs and connected professionals on a range of topics including partner succession, the impact of tax changes relating to pensions and considerations for using different business structures for GPs’ practice and private income.

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