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Becoming an associate

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by vt1311, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. vt1311

    vt1311 Member


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    Hi everyone!

    I have recently graduated in the UK, and have been offered my first opportunity to practice Podiatry, which I am really looking forward to.
    It is the chance to work as an associate in a successful physiotherapy clinic which is looking to expand into podiatry.
    I need to start buying equipment etc so I can begin in a few months time, and was wondering if anyone has any helpful advice for me in regards to the best Podiatry suppliers, what equipment and clinical documentation I may need.

    Any help would be greatfully appreciated!!
     
  2. George Brandy

    George Brandy Active Member

    Congratulations VT1311 on your graduation.

    First and foremost in this associateship make sure you have a contract which clearly states your obligations, what happens if the associateship is terminated and sets out the ground rules for your relationship. You must have your input on this contract as well as the practice manager. If you fail to achieve this, it will be a fundamental oversight.

    Before you start purchasing equipment, what space and facilities do you have? Compare this with the standards of practice you should have been equiped with from University and if a member of a professional body, should be able to download. Have you room for a seperate site for an autoclave or will you need to use single use instruments or decontaminate off site? Single use could be a cheaper option in the short term.

    Who is responsible for purchasing equipment? Is it you or the practice manager? Who is responsible for maintainance of equipment? Hopefully you have already thrashed this out as it will have bearing on the fee split or "rent" you will pay as an associate.

    If you are an SCP member you can purchase a private practice handbook or download from their website. Some of it is useful. Also SCP and probably the other Professional Bodies have examples of paper work needed for PP.

    Also start with the minimum of equipment...chair, patient couch, trolley, light, drill. Shop around and see what is available second hand. As your turnover increases so can your equipment quality. Is leasing an option? Give the Pod suppliers a ring.

    Hopefully others will join in and add their advice but there is mine for starters.

    By the way I have associates - they are contracted, know exactly what happens to their goodwill if the associateship terminates, I purchase all equipment, maintain etc and we 50:50 split. They provide their own instruments and use my facilities (sep from main clinic) to decontaminate.

    By the way, where are you located in the UK?

    GB
     
  3. Kahuna

    Kahuna Active Member

    Congratulations on graduating mate

    I agree with George's useful post - in my experience, when I've worked as an associate where the clinic takes 50%, I would expect them to provide the equipment I need and supply the patients via their advertising methods/budget.

    I have recently negotiating a very favourable associate post where the clinic only takes 10% of my fees (largely becasue they're a big physio clinic and wanted a pod/orthotic service on board. However, with margins that low for the clinic, I am happy to (and expected to) use my own autoclave/equipment, etc.

    Some general tips good for the UK......

    Sharps bin: Use canonbury. For about £30 they will supply a bin, and collect *and* provide the necessary paperwork.

    Consumables: never pay retail! Write to all the suppliers and tell them you're a new practice looking for a good deal and a good supplier for the long-term. You'll nearly always get 10% off list offered - especially as a new business/graduate. I used to use a combination of mobilis/canonbury but am now finding that Algeos are supplying good consumables in addition to their orthotic components (which they're traditionally famous for).

    Orthoses: If you're using an orthotic lab. Again, ask for at least 10% off list in "your first year" of trading. And then look for ongoing discount in other ways..... for example, my lab now offers a specific lab fee but they supply me with my foam impression boxes f.o.c. and pay my postage.

    Hope that helps in some way!

    Cheers
    Peter
     
  4. Kahuna

    Kahuna Active Member

    Here's another thing to think about when it comes to purchasing from pod suppliers....... they will happily supply to NHS departments at 20-25% discount off their catalogue list price !!!! (OF course, the NHS is a large volume purchaser, but it shows you there is SERIOUS margin for negotiation - ask for your discount too !!!)

    Cheers.
     
  5. vt1311

    vt1311 Member

    Thank you both for your helpful feedback. I am currently based on the Wirral. I have been offered a 50/50 fee share. They will provide a drill and autoclave, and I have to supply everything else. It is a handy tip to write to suppliers to see if I can get discount! Thanks!
    In regards to associateships, is it normal to do this at more than one company at the same time, ie on different days. Or can this be seen to be a potential conflict of interest?

    V
     
  6. Kahuna

    Kahuna Active Member

    Yes no problem, it's quite commonplace to work from different clinics in different locations. Many health and medical professionals do.

    The only thing to watch of course, is that you don't 'poach' patients from one location to prop up another location where you practise. (But that's obvious!)

    Thx
     
  7. samurai2k2

    samurai2k2 Welcome New Poster

    For what it's worth I too am a new grad following the associate path, I have approached all the main pod suppliers and have had no real joy with discount with DLT being almost arrogant with there answer which was "we don't need to buy your business and and do indeed give discount all the time to our regular customers who deserve it not new customers" most would look at some discount on large items such as chairs and drills. Of course your milage may vary :)
     
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