As a GP or practice manager, you’re not just providing medical care, you’re running a business.
As legal specialists acting for GP practices across the country, we’re experts at understanding the commercial challenges you face. We know you’ve got to keep on top of medical advances, regulatory changes and patient demand—and still find time to manage property, partnerships, super-partnerships and all types of collaboration: from informal alliances through to full practice mergers.
We understand commissioning arrangements, funding, policy and primary care contracting better than any other law firm. This allows our specialist team to quickly provide practical, cost effective solutions that let you focus on your patients, staff and business.
Next steps for primary care networks (PCNs)
In order to realise the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan and maximise the opportunities that are available, PCNs will need to continue to develop.
From our work with over 100 PCNs we are acutely aware of the emerging issues that PCNs face as they progress from “start-ups” to more mature networks. These include:
- Considering the best vehicle to use as nominated payee for the network and/or the employer of additional staff
- Making arrangements for administrative and support services without incurring charges to VAT
- Developing a workforce model for the additional staff that will be funded under the Network DES whilst recognising that funding is time-limited
- Considering whether there is scope to consolidate the PCN estate in order to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness and advising on PCD estate strategies.
How can Capsticks help your PCN to develop?
- Network review and assurance
We can assess the “business-readiness” of your network, and develop an action plan which ensures the PCN is built on strong foundations, with appropriate arrangements in place at both practice and network level.
- Estate audit
We are often asked to carry out reviews of the property arrangements held across PCN estate, in order to help you identify opportunities to increase efficiencies and mitigate against possible risks. We will provide you with a straightforward report summarising those arrangements at a fixed price which will help you to consider your longer term strategy.
This process can identify property arrangements that need to be regularised, such as putting formal leases in place at practice premises owned or part owned by former partners, or resolving service charge disputes with landlords such as NHS Property Services. Capsticks also has extensive experience of advising practices of all sizes on significant new health centre developments with all of the major developers. This means that you will be in the safest possible hands by instructing us, wherever a new development is the ultimate goal.
This will also help to inform PCN estate strategies which are increasingly vital for future development of the networks as highlighted by the recent publication “Critical Thinking in Developing an Estates Strategy” which provides an excellent overview of the key issues including many on which we can offer legal support, available here.
- Patient and public engagement
Public engagement is a key element in effective population health management. We work with networks to understand the key legal and practical requirements for effective engagement, and develop materials for communicating with patients about the PCN’s plans and any proposed service changes.
- Data sharing and data processing agreements
Data sharing and processing agreements will be an essential component of PCNs in order to allow all parts of the Network to access necessary data for the purposes of population health management and the management and supervision of network staff. We review existing information governance arrangements and prepare bespoke agreements to enable clients to utilise the necessary data in a legally-compliant and practical way.
- Partnership Deeds and Declarations of Trust
We work with each practice within a Network to review their “housekeeping” documents to ensure each practice has a valid and effective Partnership Deed and Declaration of Trust in place. Having a partnership deed in place will protect the stability of each practice in the Network and can save time and money. Our advice is that every GP practice needs to have a current and effective partnership deed in place.
We offer a bespoke service and will tailor the Deed to ensure it meets your actual business requirements.