- Corporate, Commercial
- 020 7484 7648
Expert legal support for new healthcare start-ups
If you are starting a healthcare business in the UK, or have already started one, there’s plenty for you to think about. Our experienced team of solicitors regularly advise new healthcare businesses and can help and advise you no matter what stage your business is at.
There are a number of things that you should think about when starting a healthcare business, such as:
- The legal structure that you choose to operate your business under;
- The regulatory and compliance issues that you need to consider before you can start offering your services;
- How your services will comply with information governance requirements under the GDPR and, where applicable, with NHS standards;
- How can you sell your products or services into the NHS;
- What steps can you take to protect your product your brand or other ‘Intellectual Property’;
- What agreements and contracts you need to have in place with any suppliers to your business and customers.
We can provide the support and level of detail that’s right for you. We focus on providing our advice in an understandable format and will not confuse you with excessive legal jargon. We are here to help you on your journey from an idea through to taking it to market.
How we can help
Once we’ve helped you identify the key legal issues to consider, we can help and advise you on a wide range of topics going forward. We can assist you in:
- Advice on setting up your business in the UK – we can assist with the legal structure for your business, assist in its formation and advise on its ongoing governance going forward.
- Regulation of healthcare businesses in the UK – such as compliance with requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, General Medical Counciland General Dental Council, amongst others.
- Contracting with Consumers and Patients – we will help you understand what agreements you need in place with end users of your product. From a healthcare perspective we can draft and advise on providing private health services, the relevant laws to consider when dealing with consumers and what you will need to include in your terms and conditions.
- Contracting with Third Parties – our specialist commercial team can assist in preparing agreements between you and third parties, whether this is a supplier to your business such a web developer, or a potential customer such as an NHS organisation.
- Contracting with clinicians – we can provide advice on relevant employment law including key things that you need to know if employing staff or contracting with them for services. This can also include advice on professional registration required for doctors or other clinicians.
- Working with the NHS –If you wish to work with the NHS, your agreement will them may be subject to public contract regulations and procurement law. Our experienced team can provide an easily understandable explanation of the public procurement regime, including whether you can be awarded a contract directly or if you will need to bid for contracts.
- Protecting your Product and Brand – a key pitfall for start-ups is not ensuring that you own the ‘Intellectual Property’ in the product that you have created, and it is fundamental at an early stage to establish ownership. Our team can also offer advice on ownership as well as a range of protection for your product and your brand, such as trademarks, design registrations and patents. In addition to this we can help file these applications on your behalf or refer you to one of the trusted patent attorneys that we work alongside.
- Data protection – our expert team offer tailored advice on data protection law on a daily basis with a particular focus on the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. We also work closely with NHS organisations and can provide you with advice on handling patient data, compliance with NHS rules on data, such as the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit and how this may apply to your business.
- Raising funds for your business – members of our corporate team can assist you with the advice and legal documentation required when you have found an investor for your business. We have experience in fundraising for Seed rounds through to late stage Series A, as well as corporate restructures, mergers and acquisitions.
- Property –advice on the different ways of owning and occupying property for business purposes in the UK, including specific guidance for healthcare businesses.
As well as helping you if you’re starting a healthcare business in the UK, we are well-placed to support you as your healthcare business develops and grows. For example, we can support you with drafting or negotiating contracts, ongoing healthcare regulatory matters, employment law issues, and negotiation of leases or other property matters. Our aim is always to give clear and straightforward legal advice allowing you to concentrate on running your healthcare business.
Members of our dedicated start-up team have worked closely with both national and global technology start-up accelerator programs and are experienced in providing clear and expert advice to early stage businesses.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you then we’d love to take the time to speak to you and to get know your business. To speak to one of our dedicated start-up lawyers please email email@example.com in the first instance or call him on 020 7484 7648.
Case studiesView all
Advising DKMS – the German Bone Marrow Donor Center – on the establishment of their UK operations, including their application for Human Tissue Authority licences and advice on Care Quality Commission registration requirements.View Case study
Advising on development of healthcare apps for patients, including advising NHS Northern England Strategic Clinical Networks on its Deciding Right app for making care decisions and NHS South East Commissioning Support Unit on its Health Help Now app to enable users to find the right service for their health needs.View Case study
Advising General Practitioners across the country on transforming primary care by setting up over 50 GP provider organisations or federations to extend primary and out of hospital care services; these organisations represent a patient population in excess of 12 million and include Iceni Healthcare with 174 Practices across Norfolk and Waveney, Somerset Primary Care (94 Practices) and BIG Practice (Birmingham Integrated General Practice) of over 100 Practices.View Case study
Advising entrepreneurs on setting up new healthcare businesses including businesses delivering primary and community health services, medical services for foreign visitors to the UK and supplying locum doctors and nurses, including via online marketplace/gig economy models.View Case study
Digital transformation is crucial for the NHS as it seeks a sustainable future and to meet expectations of high quality care. A number of different programmes are now in place to support this...
Doctors in private practice and private healthcare operators are often innovators, developing software, equipment and treatments, and building a ‘brand.’ Using these more widely, both in British healthcare and further afield, could bring benefits to patients - and private practitioners are often keen to help this happen. However, they need to consider what happens to their intellectual property in their innovations. IP is a valuable asset – as is being increasingly realised by the NHS – and needs protecting.
It is as true for a business offering healthcare services as it is for any High Street seller of goods that the business’ brand and the goodwill associated with it are valuable assets that are worthy of protection.
"Look to the future now: it's only just begun". So sang Wolverhampton glam-rockers Slade in their well-known Christmas hit. Whilst I accept that it is still probably a little early to be getting ready for Christmas, these particular words nevertheless seem an apt way of bringing to a close our series of articles on healthcare start-ups and the increasing use of apps and technology for delivering health services.
Building on the previous articles in this series which look at key legal issues doctors need to consider when starting up a healthcare business, we now turn to the contractual terms and conditions. Now, a number of people have noted that legal terms and conditions on websites and in mobile apps play a key role in what has been called ‘the biggest lie on the internet’.
The world is changing. Of course, it was ever thus but the speed of change in recent years as a result of technological advances has been immense. Just by way of example, around the turn of the century (not that long ago, at least in our eyes) having one internet-connected computer on each floor of the office and barely using email was normal.
Health start-ups: Online prescribing is no panacea – the pitfalls and perils of prescribing medication online
This is a particularly complex area so it’s as well to know what is what. Interfaces (such as Amazon, E-bay and Uber) which utilise the internet, SMS and Apps to deliver goods and services, are popular because they save time – and savvy healthcare businesses realise that patients are no different. They view time taken to make doctors’ appointments and queuing at the surgery as wasted time. Such business are capitalising on this perception by creating interfaces which allow patients to obtain prescriptions remotely (on-line, by SMS or App).
So you have a good idea for a new healthcare business and have gone so far as to develop a business plan and test the waters with potential patients and suppliers. But now you need to know a little bit more detail about legal, financial and commercial issues to move the project on – from drawing board to board room as they say.
Welcome to this latest edition of Hempsons’ healthcare newsbrief. Healthcare policy is always a challenging area to write about and this year the election, with its uncertain result, has made it even more so.
Building on the CQC guidance issued in March this year for digital health providers (see http://www.cqc.org.uk/file/1295582) the CQC has issued an update on issues uncovered in a number of recent inspections, particularly in relation to online prescribing.
We are delighted to announce this year’s round of partner and associate promotions, providing a major boost to our Healthcare Litigation and Real Estate teams.