- 020 7484 7575
Contact our GP advice line
Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP Advice Line.
Our team of experts can offer GPs and members of their teams up to ten minutes’ free preliminary advice with a solicitor.
A dedicated national team providing expert advice at the point of need
We have a substantial team of specialist solicitors providing expert advice to general practitioners on a day to day basis. We act for thousands of GPs and around 350 practices. We can help you exploit the new opportunities available to general practitioners in the changing healthcare system, as well as offering practical solutions to assist in resolving the day to day problems that arise in a busy practice.
How can we help?
Alliances, provider organisations, joint ventures, primary care networks & closer working
Our specialist team members have between them assisted with the formation of over 100 provider organisations, alliances, primary care networks and other joint ventures. We advise on the different options for joint working and associated issues such as data sharing, IT and intellectual property issues, NHS pensions employing authority status, NHS contracting, tendering for contracts, regulatory compliance (including CQC requirements), competition issues, sharing and secondment of staff and premises arrangements. We also advise on participation in accountable care organisations and other new models of care.
A partnership agreement is essential for ensuring the stability and effective governance of a partnership practice. A well drafted agreement can help to reduce the risk of disputes arising in the first place and be a tool to help resolve disputes. Based on our knowledge of the sector and our experience of working with hundreds of practices, we can prepare for you a partnership agreement which is tailored to the specific requirements and challenges of general practice. We can also prepare deeds of adherence to ensure that new partners are bound by the practice agreement, deeds of variation to deal with agreed changes to the agreement and deeds of retirement for outgoing partners.
Practice mergers, acquisitions and incorporations
We can guide you through each step of the process, including providing advice on the different structural models for practices (including limited companies and super partnerships), due diligence, preservation of NHS contracts, dealing with CQC requirements, negotiation of merger terms, transfer of assets and dealing with associated employment and property issues.
Succession arrangements for retiring partners/principals & 24 hour retirement
We can advise sole practitioners and smaller partnerships who are planning for the future of their practice, whether that is through a merger with another practice, the admission of new partners to continue the practice or winding up the practice. We can also assist with arrangements for practitioners wishing to retire temporarily in order to trigger their NHS pension benefits.
We advise on the full range of employment issues, including employment contracts and the application and implications of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations on the incorporation, acquisition or merger of practices and formation of joint ventures. We can also advise on secondment arrangements and disciplinary and dismissal procedures, including redundancy.
Property ownership, leases, transfers and developments
We assist with the acquisition and disposal of freehold and leasehold property, surgery construction, development and refurbishment (including arrangements with third party developers), sales and leasebacks and transfers of property interests between partners. We also advise on NHS premises costs reimbursement and prepare declarations of trust to document the arrangements governing jointly owned premises where these arrangements are not dealt with in the practice’s partnership agreement. We can also prepare surgery leases and advise on the terms of leases held by or being entered into by a practice.
NHS contracts and regulations
We advise practitioners on NHS contracts (including both primary care contracts and the NHS Standard Contract) and associated regulations and directions. We also advise on issues arising from the Performers List Regulations.
We provide advice on all GMC matters including performance reviews, registration appeals, specialist list appeals, and representation at fitness to practise hearings.
Clinical negligence claims
Our team, which includes dual qualified clinicians/lawyers who bring particular insight and understanding to the management of such claims, provides advice to doctors and other healthcare practitioners on the defence of clinical negligence claims and, where appropriate, when to seek early resolution.
GPs as commissioners
We have an in-depth understanding of the commissioning of services by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England. We advise CCGs on commercial, governance, employment and estates issues, including the roles of general practitioners within CCGs. This includes advising on statutory issues, conflicts of interest, and the procurement of services, in particular the mitigation of risk.
Commercial contracts and procedures
All commercial contracts carry a degree of risk, irrespective of their contractual value and term. We can draft, review and negotiate commercial contracts on your behalf, as well as provide succinct and practical advice on the correct contractual mechanism to follow, thus minimising contractual risk to your practice.
Unfortunately, disputes can and do sometimes arise between partners and the effects can be devastating for a practice and the individuals concerned. Our team is experienced in handling complex and sensitive disputes, the aim always being to reach a satisfactory resolution without recourse to formal proceedings. Where this is not possible, our team of specialist litigators can assist with arbitration and court processes. We also advise on disputes between practitioners or practices and third parties, such as landlords or subcontractors.
We are inviting Clinical Directors and PCN leads to attend a free seminar on 30 May in London, where you will be able to raise questions about the role of Clinical Directors and what you need to include in the Primary Care Network Agreement that all practices will be required to enter - and a checklist of practical steps to prepare for the changes ahead.View Event
We are inviting Clinical Directors and PCN leads to attend a free seminar on Thursday 6 June in Newcastle where you will be able to raise questions about your PCN structure and governance arrangements, the role of Clinical Directors and what you need to include in the Network Agreement.View Event
We are part of the Go Mutual consortium that has successfully secured funding from DCMS to create and support mutuals. Mutuals cover organisations providing public services (which would include GP Practices holding GMS or PMS contracts) which are considering a new structure which has some element of staff- led representation, governance or ownership.
GDPR - The Final Countdown! Are you ready for 25th May 2018? Make sure you don’t get caught out and seek legal advice to ensure your policies and procedures are robust and that your staff know and understand the new rules.
GDPR day – 25th May 2018 – came and went with a flurry of Privacy Notices and Policies filling our in-boxes but did everyone take stock of their data and their responsibilities or are there thousands of businesses out there who are yet to up-date their systems and processes?
GMS Contract Negotiations 2018/19 - what you need to know The outcome of the latest round of the GMS Contract negotiations for 2018/19 between NHS Employers and the General Practitioners Committee was published by NHS England recently (Gateway Reference 07813).
The push towards being part of a larger clinical entity is showing no sign of abating – and we are no longer talking in terms of a “large” practice constituting 10-15k patients; we are now talking in terms of list sizes – and Contracts – governing 30-50k patients!
If you are a tenant of your surgery premises under a lease, it is essential you understand and manage your repairing obligations. Depending on the size, age and condition of the premises, the costs of meeting these obligations can run into the tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds – and a regular programme of maintenance can help to avoid larger claims arising at a later date.
Hempsons is pleased to bring you the latest in its series of news updates on new care models, STPs and integration.
“Our aim is to use the next several years to make the biggest national move to integrated care of any major western country” (NHS England, 2017)
During the summer 2017, the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) consulted on a number of proposals to develop their regulatory approach in primary medical care and adult social care services. The development in primary care is in response to New Models of Care and large, complex providers.
If you occupy NHS Property Services premises without a lease, you may have received a letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement urging you to engage with the lease regularisation programme.
The updated GMC Guidance Confidentiality: Good Practice in Handling Patient Information (“the Guidance”) came into effect on 25 April 2017. The Guidance builds upon the core principles set out in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. It is aimed at providing a framework for considering when to disclose a patient’s personal information and sets out the responsibilities of all doctors for managing and protecting that information.
What are your obligations with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – are you going to be ready?
Certain types of personal data must be treated with particular care due to the sensitive nature of that personal data. This is of course common sense. ‘Health’ comes under what the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) calls the ‘special category’, making it a mandatory obligation to comply with the GDPR and more especially if you work in the health professional field.
“An utterly fantastic team who work well together to deliver world-class results.”