In April 2016, the government published their ‘General Practice Forward Thinking’ document. It was clear from this that working at scale will increasingly be the norm across the NHS, and part of the £171m outline ‘transformational support’ is likely to fund this.

There are lots of benefits to be gained from merging. By sharing resources, such as facilities and premises, as well as administrative work, practices can take advantage of economies of scale. Similarly, through sharing knowledge, you may gain greater clinical expertise and skills, improving the quality of care for your patients.

Legal aspects

Merging contracts, or dissolving existing ones to create an entirely new one, can be difficult, and you must ensure that you continue to comply with regulatory requirements. Where premises are closing, there may also be break clauses to negotiate, and stamp duty or capital gains tax to consider.  But you should take care to protect care of your working relationships too. Poorly-planned mergers can result in disputes with partners, which may require mediation or even resolution in court.

You will have to negotiate a number of agreements before you proceed with the merger. It’s important to remember that these agreements are legally binding, so you should be fully comfortable with everything that you agree to. Legal advice will ensure that your interests are protected – particularly when you are making financial contributions, or bringing assets to the arrangement.

How can BMA Law help?

Download our free guidance
With working at scale becoming the norm, practice mergers are on the rise. Mergers are complicated, so to help you get to grips with the process, we have put together a guidance document. Covering everything from contractual and regulatory considerations, right down to the practical aspects, such as harmonising IT systems, this document is a must-read for anyone considering a merger. Download the guidance now.

Expert legal advice at discounted rates
If you decide to pursue a merger, BMA Law offers a comprehensive support package. Our expert team will work closely with you to ensure that your newly merged practice not only meets your needs, but also the needs of your patients. Fees are provided upfront with no hidden costs, allowing you to budget accurately from the outset. BMA members benefit from a 25% discount Contact us to find out more.

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