Lawyers at the Bristol commercial law firm Meade King have advised doctors on the formation of the region’s first GP super-partnership.
The firm acted for the Stafford Medical Group, which runs the Locking Castle Medical Centre in Weston-super-Mare, which is one of seven local GP practices that have merged to form the Pier Health Group.
The new joint venture has been set up by local doctors to improve the delivery of primary healthcare services to patients in the local area.
Alex Hall, a partner in Meade King’s company and commercial team, advised the Stafford Medical Group, which also runs a branch surgery in Stafford Place, on the super-partnership agreement.
The aim was to ensure the partners retain significant control over their own practice operations, premises and profits while being part of a larger group. Merging practices offers a number of benefits to GPs who can reduce costs by centralising operational activities and access greater NHS funding.
Juliet Bodman, practice manager at the Locking Castle Medical Centre, said: “The main issue for us was whether to put our properties into the new super-partnership and the tax implications of doing this.
“The partnership agreement allows us to retain our autonomy and keep things largely as they are while enjoying the benefits of being part of something bigger. It also means we’ll be able to offer more specialist medical services to our patients in future.”
She added: “We can’t thank Meade King enough for the expert advice they gave us. They turned things around so quickly which was crucial given the tight timescales and were very professional and friendly.”
Meade King’s lawyers are nationally recognised for their expertise in providing commercial and regulatory advice to GPs and dentists. Partner Alex Hall said: “We’re proud to have been involved in the formation of the region’s first GP super-partnership.
“It’s not something that’s been done many times before in the UK, which is what made it new and challenging. It required our extensive expertise as a law firm.”
He added: “We wish the Stafford Medical Group and the wider Pier Health Group every success with their exciting plans for improving the delivery of local GP services.”