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Independents' Day

Ten steps to successfully recruit a partner

Read Dr Simon Poole’s quick guide on how to find a new GP

1. Define your needs

Establish a plan based on a needs assessment for the practice.

2. Create a timetable

‘Work backwards’ by drawing a timeline of necessary steps from the hoped-for start date for the new partner.

3. Advertise widely

It is a good idea to look closely at the content and style of other adverts to ensure that all the salient facts are clear and attractive.

4. Encourage informal visits

It is a golden opportunity to gain an impression of how candidates relate to team members, and for partners to meet candidates in an informal atmosphere.

5. Shortlist good candidates

It is often helpful to devise a scoring system among the partners to ensure that you have objective criteria against which to measure a written application.

6. Give all the information

It is important that all parties have a full understanding of the expectations and obligations on matters such as property ownership, income and expenses arrangements and tax issues.

7. Agree questions

There is merit in each candidate having a set time with a single partner in rotation at the first interview, followed by further shortlisting in preparation for a second round of interviews, perhaps the following day, in the presence of all the partners.

8. Consider a trial

This allows the existing partners and the candidate the opportunity to make a more informed and positive choice at the end of the trial period.

9. Make your choice promptly

It is important that rejected candidates are informed in a constructive way, perhaps citing strengths and qualities.

10. Review the appointment

This formal final part of the process is to ensure that the practice is working effectively with the new partner in place.

Dr Simon Poole is a GP in Cambridge and chair of the GPC commissioning subcommittee


Readers' comments (4)

  • All very sensible, but what if nobody applies?
    But then you are in Cambridge......

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  • All good and reasonable steps. The problem is getting into bed with people that have been sleeping together for ages and have developed very odd and kinky habits! As a newly qualified GP and new partner all I have seen so far is stubborn dinosaurs who refuse to budge. No ideas of what monitoring and shaping demand is and no idea about how to listen to new ideas. Is the current crises created by our own senior GPs refusing to get with the times? Maybe that's why new GPs refuse to become partners these days. I have handed my notice in and running for the hills! Counting the seconds here.

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  • above comment is very interesting.
    in most professional careers there is an apprentice style training where the old hands who have been doing the job for years support and mentor the younger inexperienced recruits.
    it seems to me that the younger GPs now are often arrogant ( as you appear to be) and think they know it all.
    i am all in favour of new ideas but a little respect for more experienced colleagues would do you no harm. Some of us have been around the cycle three times in our careers and "new and innovative" ideas are simply a rehash of something that did not work 10 years ago.

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  • I am in practice with 2 septuagenarians who do not feel the need to retire nor any need to change. I have been a GP for over 20 years so have experience of the failings of new innovations, bit do believe you have to be open to ideas for change as General Practice is continually changing. Surely the success and survival of each practice, and GeneralPractice itself, lies in maintaining a mix of cautious realism of experience with youthful optimism and energy. In my area, 'senior GPS' are stubbornly preventing younger GPs from taking the reins of partnership. Therefore how can they have the 'apprenticeship' training which we benefitted from? Partnership recruitment is a complex issue but obligatory retirement after a certain age is an important aspect, which our hierarchy should recognise and act upon.

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