With all the regulatory and compliance changes, how do you give advice about keeping abreast of all the legal and financial implications?
Ross Clark, Partner at Hempsons, discusses the resources available to keep abreast of legal and financial changes in healthcare.
It’s really difficult to keep up with all the legal, financial and other regulatory changes that are taking place today. The speed of change is just phenomenal. And it’s very, very difficult for practices because they’ve also got a busy day job to do, but how to do it? Well, the first step is to have good professionals around you. Your lawyers, your accountants should be disseminating information to you, making you aware of key changes. Now, that’s something we do, for example, through newsletters, on our website, through tweets and a range of communications so that our clients are kept abreast of imminent changes that affect primary care. Accountants will be doing the same. So a good set of professionals is the first start. In addition, you’ve got a number of organisations such as the RCGP, you’ve got the BMA, you’ve got the National Association of Primary Care, you’ve got your indemnity provider, MPS for example and they will be doing the same. They will be looking at slightly different angles but they will be disseminating information about forthcoming changes, forthcoming legislation, financial changes that will affect you and of course, the British Medical Association has the General Practice Committee which has the most important change each year with the changes to the General Medical Services contract and the income flow from it. Then you have the journals, the magazines, the Health Service Journal, GP magazine, Pulse et cetera. So, their job is to disseminate the information and give it you in useful chunks, so the best piece of advice is get some professionals and look at their website, get the information from them but also find the journals, the organisations that work well for you, maybe you’re in a specialised area, and there’s one of the colleges that are specialised in that as well. Find the source of information that suits you best in the method that they deliver it best and just keep checking it regularly if not daily and that should forewarn you and then once you’re aware of something you can then go to your lawyer, your accountant or to one of the colleges to get more information on it. So, it’s really about relying on others, acting as a team, so you have people around you who are doing the detail of it but are forewarning you that there is a change coming up and keeping an eye on those changes coming up.