There are a variety of challenges involved with running a doctors surgery, but also various benefits. You may be running a doctors surgery alone, or with others and your practice may also have more of a ‘health centre’ feel to it, having for example a dental practice attached or affiliated with it which will also come with various similar challenges.
Running a Doctors Surgery
Accreditations: The Department of Health
The Department of Health chooses where and when to open or close surgeries. Because of this, those running a doctors surgery have to maintain their cost to patient ratio. This doesn’t mean there must be an upkeep of people who are unwell coming into the surgery, just how many people are registered with the surgery and are therefore listed as patients.
Criteria for Practices
According to the Department of Health doctors surgeries practices should:
- have a list size of at least 6000
- offer extended opening hours
- engage in practice based commissioning
- have wide practice boundaries
Health Centres should:
- be in easily accessible locations
- be open 8am to 8pm every day of the week
- provide bookable GP appointments and walk-in services
- offer services for both registered and non-registered patients
- maximise opportunities to integrate and co-locate with other community based services
Employment at Doctors’ Surgeries
As with running any business, you will need to employ and pay the appropriate people. Of course, when running a doctor’s surgery, doctors and nurses will inevitably and crucially be required. You will also be faced with the challenge of finding admin staff, such as secretaries, receptionists and even cleaners and other service providers, all of which contribute to the successful and efficient running of a doctor’s surgery.
Likewise, if there is a dental surgery attached, you will also need to have a dental hygienist and at least one assistant per dentist in addition to admin staff.
What are the Costs Involved?
The cost of running any type of medical practice has been on the rise since 2016. As in the case of other businesses, when the cost of the product or service rises, it is the consumer who is burdened, having to make-up the extra costs. If the supply price rises generally, those who demand it have to pay more. This however is not the case in the medical world in the United Kingdom.
Running a doctors or dental surgery comes with extra costs that other businesses may not have to worry about investing in. The capital equipment can be expensive, and provided by the person/ people running the surgery.
Waiting Area Equipment
Costs needs to cover and provide furniture for the waiting area:
- Coffee table
- Phone and phones system set up
- Toys for children/Magazines
There may even have to be a stair lift in place for patients who may require it in part or all of the surgery is on an upper level. Moreover, you should consider a practice premise with car parking or easy-access parking.
Clinics and Rooms
You will need to provide general equipment and medical equipment for the doctors’ rooms:
- Patient bed
- Examination lights
- Doctors tools (e.g Ophthalmoscope, Otoscope, Reflex Hammer, Stethoscope.
- Fax machine/printer
- Medical cabinets for filing
- Disposables (urine sample pots, cotton swabs, gloves etc)
- Blood drawing equipment
Dental Surgery Costs
Additional equipment if you are running a dental surgery:
- Newtom Giano
- Dental tools
- X-ray equipment
- Consumables; mouthwash, toothpaste etc.
- Sterilising equipment
- Whitening equipment
- Equipment for taking patients through having braces; all the materials, the gum shields, the moulds.
All of the above will, of course, have to be kept up to date. Also, cleaning and heating should be factored into the cost.