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Soar Your Financial Wellbeing – Top tips for success

When a general practice surgery becomes insolvent and is forced to hand back their contract, it can have significant implications for the wellbeing of both the healthcare professionals and the patients. The stress of potential unemployment, financial instability, and the need to find alternative employment can take a toll on their mental wellbeing. Also, the handover of a practice can disrupt continuity of care for patients. In this blog post, we will explore the financial challenges faced by primary care workers and provide actionable tips to improve their long-term financial wellbeing.

Factors Affecting Financial Wellbeing in General Practice:

1. Being a Small Practice: Being part of a small practice can mean a reduced workload and less income for healthcare professionals. To combat this, practitioners should consider diversifying income sources with enhanced services and exploring collaborative partnerships with neighbouring practices.

2. Working in a Deprived Area: Working in a deprived area presents unique financial challenges due to high patient demand, limited resources and difficulty in recruiting and retaining GPs. Practices in these areas should explore funding programs like Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme, Tier 2 Visa Sponsorships, New To Practice Fellowship Schemes, and community collaborations to optimise, recruitment, training and retention.

3. Age of Service and Retirement: As partners approach retirement age, there is a greater likelihood of retirement and loss of partners. Practitioners should plan for succession, actively recruit new partners, maintain a positive work culture that encourages retention and consider alternative practice models to maintain financial stability.

4. Poorly Performing Practice: A poorly performing practice can lead to financial penalties, reduced reimbursements, and loss of contracts. This can be caused by missing QOF targets, failing CQC inspections etc. To address this, primary care workers should monitor performance indicators, invest in quality improvement initiatives, and seek support from professional bodies and successful practices. There should be greater efforts to support practice managers, particularly in accessing quality and service improvement skills.

Financial Tips for Long-Term Financial Wellbeing:

1. Understand the Causes of Practice Closure: By understanding the factors that contribute to practice closure, primary care workers can take proactive steps to safeguard their financial stability.

2. Prepare for the Unforeseen: Building an emergency fund that covers several months of living expenses provides a financial safety net during periods of transition or instability, both at individual and practice level.

3. Diversify Your Income Streams: Exploring additional income sources, can increase financial resilience. Options such as Locum Work and Temporary Assignments, Private Medical Services, Clinical Research and Trials, Medical Writing and Consulting, Medical Education and Training are available. Ensure that they align with your professional interests. MedicFootprints offer a networking platform, visit their website to learn more.

4 . Invest in Professional Development: Enhancing skills and expanding professional repertoire increases employability and financial opportunities within the healthcare industry.

5. Seek Financial Advice: Engaging the services of a qualified financial advisor can help create a personalised financial plan and offer assistance to make informed decisions. See for more articles on personal finance for NHS healthcare staff.

6. Plan for Retirement: Planning for retirement early on ensures a comfortable transition and financial stability. Consult with a financial advisor to explore retirement savings options.

Working in primary care comes with unique financial challenges. Understanding the factors that affect financial wellbeing, such as small practice size, working in deprived areas, approaching retirement, and poor performance, is crucial. By implementing strategies such as diversifying income streams, preparing for the unforeseen, investing in professional development, seeking financial advice, and planning for retirement, primary care workers can improve their long-term financial wellbeing. Optimising financial stability allows healthcare professionals to focus on providing quality care while ensuring their own financial security.

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