Bradford VTS Online Resources:

Salaried & Partnerships

Before we start... The Performers List

Every doctor in England needs to be on something called the Performers’ List.  It is PCSE Online that manages this process.   You can sign up online and to do so is every doctor’s responsibility.  The application/registration process is now online and this makes the whole thing easier to do.   Here are a few useful links followed by some FAQs.

Performer Lists provide an extra layer of reassurance for the public that GPs, Dentists and Opticians practising in the NHS are suitably qualified, have up to date training, have appropriate English language skills and have passed other relevant checks such as with the Disclosure and Barring Service and the NHS Litigation Authority.

In accordance with The National Health Service (Performers Lists) (England) Regulations 2013 it is your responsibility to ensure that you update your status and circumstances on the Performers List

PCSE Online is a web-based system for submitting and approving Performer List change notifications and Performer List applications.  Practices, Performers, CCGs and NHS England can access the service via the PCSE website with a unique login ID and password. Some users may already have access to PCSE Online for ordering supplies and tracking medical records.

PCSE Online is a web-based system for submitting and approving Performer List change notifications and Performer List applications.  Practices, Performers, CCGs and NHS England can access the service via the PCSE website with a unique login ID and password. Some users may already have access to PCSE Online for ordering supplies and tracking medical records.

What is a GP partnership?

In basic legal terms, a partnership is simply defined as an agreement between two or more individuals!   That’s it!   GP partners are not necessarily rich – no matter what you read in the papers.  And their pay goes up and down depending how profitable their business (the GP practice) has been.   

Advantages & Disadvantances of Partnerships

ADVANTAGES

  1. You part-own the business, which means that you can have a say on how it is run.
  2. You share the profits of the practice with the other partners.   And if you’re a successful practice, this can be significant compared with locums and salaried GPs.   Some practices use their salaried staff so well (in terms of achieving good profits) that they can then enjoy the pocketing of these at the end of year profit share.
  3. You have the peace of mind of stable employment.  (Unless you really mess things up and get ejected by the other partners).    It also makes planning in your life a lot easier like schooling, buying a house, taking holidays.
  4. You can get your teeth into long-term projects.
  5. You get continuity of care with patients.
PS You can leave a GP partnership after the said period of notice in the Partnership Agreement.  Trainees often think that becoming a GP partner means you are there for life.  It’s not true. You can leave relatively easily after the period of notice.   However, the limiting step is the money you have invested.   As a GP partner, you are tied to the practice through the finances you have put in.   And when you leave, it takes time to process that financial back to you.  And don’t forget, what you get back could be less than what you put in (depends on the level of working capital and the market value of the building).   

DISADVANTAGES

  • You are an employer not an employee.  So, you have no employment rights.  No sick pay.  No holiday pay.  No maternity pay. 
  • Your income can go up with profits.
  • You are also personally liable for any losses.    So, if the practice owes a lot of money and all the other partners have legged it to say Peru, then you can be sued individually for everyone’s debt!    Bet you didn’t know that.  Luckily, in real life, most of the time it is not as scary as that.  
  • You will spend a lot more time on management, accounting and non-clinical issues. 
  • It can be expensive to join a partnership.  There are 2 payments you will need to make.  Contribution to the cost of the building itself (unless the building is leased and not owned by the GP partners).  You’ll end up getting a loan for this.  The second is your contribution to the working capital of the practice.  In other words, the practice always needs a minimum amount of money in the current account in order to work as a financial business.  You have to contribute you part of that share.   Many practices allow you to build this up in staged payments and the second cost is no where near as big as the first (typically £8-15K) – more so if a dispensing practice!
  • You can incur loses in your investment.  Buying into the practice premises can be seen as an investment and for most of you, your investment will be profitable as time goes by.   But some buildings go into negative equity with time and your investment could be worth less than what you put in. 

Advantages & Disadvantances of Salaried

ADVANTAGES

  • You are an employee.  So, you have full employment rights like sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay. 
  • Your income is steady and stable, and not prone to fluctuation as it is with partners.
  • You are not liable for any practice losses or payouts for claims.    
  • You will spend most of your time doing doctoring stuff rather than get involved at a managerial level.  Some GPs don’t particularly like the managerial stuff – not surprising as they just want to be doctors, not managers. 
  • No need for expensive joining fees.  You don’t buy into the practice. You don’t contribute to the working capital of the practice.  
  • You have the freedom to work in more than one place.
  • There is less stuff to “take home” than there is with being a GP partner.  When you get home, you can truly shut off most of the time.
  • Leaving a salaried position is lots easier than leaving a GP partnership.   Easier to go off and do something else!
  • You can get your teeth into long term projects if you’re planning to be around for a while.
  • You get continuity of care with patients just like GP partners do.

DISADVANTAGES

  1. You don’t own the business, which means that you can’t have a say on how it is run at a business level.
  2. Many GP partners, in successful GP practices, earn a lot of money for the sessions they do.   Much more so that you might get from being Salaried.
  3. Your contract can be terminated if the practice feels there is no need for you.  
 

A little note on parity for those of you who want to be a GP partner

  • When joining a GP practice as a partner, some practices offer full parity whilst others offer staged parity.
  • Parity basically means share.  So, full parity means you get a full share of the profits.   As an example, if a practice offers 2 years to full parity, that means it will be 2 years before you are on full profit share.  So, in the first year you may get only 70% of full parity, 2nd year 85% and 3rd year 100%.
  • Parity is going out of fashion.  A lot of practices offer full parity right from the start.   And you may wish to ask for it if the practice you wish to join as a GP partner is still doing staged parity.
  • PS You may think parity is non-sense.   Why should you get less profits for the same work?   It’s because some consider that the new partner is likely to contribute less in his/her early years and therefore allocate them a lower share of the profits at the start.

Please leave a comment if you have a tip, spot an error, spot something missing or have a suggestion for a web resource.
And of course, if you have developed a resource of your own, please email it to me to share with others.

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