What makes a successful private practice

Dec 19, 2021

There are many factors to consider when starting and building a successful medical practice. Private medical care has changed significantly with the traditional barriers to entry into private practice being broken down due to the digital revolution and, in particular, telemedicine.

Traditionally private medical practice was confined to hospital consultants with traditional routes of referrals from general practice into secondary care. Direct access to consultants is now offered by most health insurers allowing patients to access private medical care directly. In addition the self-pay market has grown steadily and the current short and likely medium term waiting times for care has increased referrals into the private sector.

There has never been a better time to start a private medical practice due to significant pent up demand. At the same time there has been a rapid increase in the number of independent healthcare practitioners looking to set up their own businesses and services. So how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack and what are the secrets to building a successful medical practice?

You need to have the knowledge skills and experience to deliver a high quality service. Although this is an obvious statement all too often many healthcare professionals try to deliver care outside of the scope of their practice and as a result expose themselves to significant and unnecessary risk. An old saying but one which still rings true is the three A's of private medical practice.


You need to know what you're doing, do it well and do it well every time.


This is about being likeable, having great communication skills and really engaging with your patients in a personal way to deliver personalised evidence based care.


You have to realise that patients seeking private medical care expect convenience, rapid access and rapid results.

By getting the three A's right you are halfway there to building a successful private medical practice. In addition you need a well thought out marketing strategy, a marketing plan and create a team around you that allows you to work effectively but also retain a work life balance yourself. It is a fact of life that if a patient sees an exhausted and burnt out doctor in an evening clinic which they clearly don’t want to be at, they're not going to be inspired with confidence that you can deliver great care.

So here are our five tips to consider when setting up your private practice.

1. Use modern technology and digital solutions.

This means high quality practise management software such as Heydoc, online appointment booking systems integrated with payment services such as Stripe, cloud phone based call handling systems with efficient call management processes, highly trained PA or virtual medical PA services and template driven letters reports and questionnaires to allow rapid and responsive communication with patients

2. Organised systems and processes

Make sure you have up to date mandatory training records, DBS cheques, clear training and upskilling of all your staff and regular practise meetings. If you are registered with the Care Quality Commission you need to have meticulous updated and efficient protocols and policies that are easily viewed and amended.

3. Have a strong online presence

The first place to start is a good website with clear information about you, your services and an easily navigated online booking system. Include your range of fees and you're digital privacy notice as well as a clear set of terms and conditions.

4. Digital marketing plan

In the modern day we lives in a digital marketing plan is essential. Produce regular content via a blog on your site and establish yourself as a thought leader to your patients in the area that you specialise in. Engage potential patients through digital channels such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. You need to produce content that is current relevant and answers patience problems and concerns with practicable and actionable solutions.

5. Remember you’re running a business

If you're a doctor, physiotherapist, nutritionist or counsellor it is likely you will have had very minimal training and experience in business. It is time to think of your private medical practice as a business and yourself as an entrepreneur. It is not only about providing great medical care, but also about running a business that is lean, efficient and which strives to maximise profits.  Make sure you understand the basics of the business world, for example how to incorporate a company, how to read and understand a balance sheet and income statement, and consider actually raising money for your business from investors in order to scale your business to the next level.

If you look at the most successful private medical practices they are often led by inspirational individuals who have created successful teams and who communicate well with their patients. Having the highest level of qualifications or skills does not automatically lead to being successful in independent practice. In fact many high functioning doctors, in particular consultants, struggle with the non-medical skills required in private medical practice. For this reason many general practitioners, particularly partners who have more experience of staff management, practice meetings and balancing budgets, are making very successful transitions into setting up small private medical practices. Some good examples of these include functional medicine and lifestyle medicine, aesthetic medicine, sports medicine, private physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics.

Do you want to create a fully booked private medical practice without working any evenings or weekends? 

With over 50 on-demand videos, templates and guides, our on-demand course covers everything from:

  • how to navigate CQC registration and fast-track your practicing privileges
  • detailed walkthrough of how to create your own website and embed an automated appointment system
  • how to get patients through the door without spending money on advertising
  • how to project your revenue and costs and maximise your profits
  • and much, much more

We look forward to seeing you there!

Giles and Tom

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