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Five tips on how to prevent closure

1 Review your contract: Establish the estimated year-on-year gains/losses arising from GMS contract changes and the ongoing PMS contract reviews. Carry this out in conjunction with a comparison of your practice’s financial performance against national averages to identify areas of potential weak financial control, an area that should be covered by a specialist accountant.

2 Undertake a critical appraisal of staff resources: This is to ensure the best use is made of skills and delegation, making the most of the largest cost a practice incurs.

3 Upskill staff: Assess the development needs of your workforce, as the short-term costs of training could produce efficiencies in the longer term.

4 Consider federating with other local practices: This could not only protect income, but also provide new potential income streams.

5 Approach your neighbours: If all reviews indicate the practice in its current independent state is not financially viable, approach other local practices in order to explore the merits/efficiencies of a merger.

Keith Taylor is head of medical services at BW Medical Accountants Ltd.