Becoming a partner is a huge commitment and should be considered carefully before making a final decision. It means you’ll have to put more hours in at work and it’s also a significant financial undertaking that could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. It also means committing to your partnership for the long-haul, so be sure to only get into a partnership with people you trust and agree with about the way the practice is run. Being a GP partner carries more responsibility, but there are also rewards.
There are many advantages to being a GP partner.
As a partner, you’ll be responsible for managing your own business and that means you’ll have more control over how your practice is run. You and any other partner, if you do have any, are in charge of the hiring decisions, service offerings, and have authority over the day to day running of the business.
Your additional responsibilities will be compensated for, however. Of course, the exact figure will vary by region, but according to NHS Digital, the average income before tax for GP partners and salaried GPs in 2016/17 tax year was £92,500, with GP partners earning an average of £105,500.
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It’s also a very stable situation and most partnerships continue until retirement. Practically speaking, being in a partnership makes it easier to plan family functions and schedule activities in your personal life. Plus, being in one practice for so long enables you to have a hand in making the practice into the kind you want it to be, lets you build your practice team, and best of all, allows you to have continuity of care with your patients.
A few more things to consider before taking up a GP partnership:
Parity means, in the most simplest terms, equality. In most partnerships, there’s usually a set amount of time to wait before your salary reaches the same level as your partners. Sometimes you’ll start at 70% and work your way up to full parity over a few years. A few partnerships will offer full parity immediately, following a short mutual evaluation period, but this is something you should certainly take into consideration when considering a partnership.
When you become a partner, you also become an employer managing your own practice team. It’s a big responsibility and you might run into situations you feel ill-equipped to handle having never managed a team before. Ask your practice manager and senior partners to teach you the basics so you get up to speed quickly.
Every partnership is responsible for setting their own rules about sick pay, PTO, and other types of leave. Whatever is agreed amongst the partners goes. It’s really important to discuss these ahead of time because in some practices, women might not get any maternity leave and they might even have to fund their own locum to cover them during their time away. So be sure you agree with established rules before committing to a partnership.
Interested in learning more?
Try this GP Partnership course
If you’re interested in learning the essential financial and business aspects of a GP partnership – to help you better understand key financial metrics that will increase profitability and deliver the best care to your patients – check out our GP Partnership Course.
Listen to the podcast
To learn even more about GP partnership including:
- What should a new GP Partner be looking for?
- Should you get a copy of the practice accounts?
- What is working capital and how is it financed?
- How does the property ownership aspect work?
- What should a new partner look out for in the first year for tax?
- How will pension work as a partner?
Listen to the full podcast now.
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