Have we made a terrible mistake?

Have we made a terrible mistake?

As you know with Practice Nav we are all about finding solutions to problems. One of our missions is to constantly challenge and where possible improve healthcare practitioners work and life experiences.

Recently we have been looking at recruitment for our day to day company Compass Physio and set about writing a job description.

We decided to look at an overview of what our job can entail (as clinic owners) and compare to a public sector job. I have put down in the table form below the overview.

It’s not an all encompassing list but does give an interesting insight. There are several ways of interpreting this and I have chosen just one.

Private Clinic Practitioner/Owner Public Sector Practitioner
30-70 hours per week 37.5 hour week
Sole Trader/Partnership/Limited Company Job Security as an employee within Public Sector Body (NHS/HSE)
Lone Working Group Work Environment
Weekend CPD Courses available Regular CPD in house as part of work time
Variable Hours (8am-8pm) includings weekends)

Additional hours for admin

Structured hours (8am-4pm) Monday to Friday
Leave dependant on team success you work with/potential times you might be quieter in clinic Guaranteed annual Leave
Constantly thinking about clinic/clients/funds/marketing/staff Ability to walk away and leave work behind
Marketing Strategies/Funnels to get clients to your clinic Guaranteed Client Base

Just to break the above table down a little more

Working Hours: As a self employed practitioner we have the complete flexibility to make our own hours but the vast majority of us invariably end up working over and above the intended hours.

Job/Business Status: Have you tried to get a mortgage as a self employed practitioner? Banks don’t trust the security of this job title and much prefer a secure public sector job even if its less pay.

Working Environment: Tea Runs, Cake Fridays, Friday Olympics, Baby Showers, Birthday Breakfasts/lunches and staff rotation nights out/awards nights are some of the highlights from my NHS days. As a sole practitioner do we miss out on all of this?

CPD Courses; Structured in house CPD In Services (some good, some not so good) are frequent in the public sector. As health care practitioners we normally will attend these over the weekend

Hours: Public Sector. You work hard when you are there and you can in the main walk away and leave things until the monday morning. With your own clinic there is rarely a situation where you can walk away and not have some contact/touch point with your business over a weekend

Annual Leave: 28 days including bank holidays v well whatever you make it. No leave because you are a slave to your business and the clients won’t survive without you Or Late starts monday, early finishes on Wednesday to collect the kids, whatever you want it to be.

Marketing: Privately it can become a myriad of social media, flyer drops, email campaigns and sometimes we can get lost in this. The rewards when the clients come through the door and you have done the hard work to get them there, well its a great feeling.

Public sector has no shortage of clients and a long waiting list.

So if you were presented with the above, what would the sane person choose?

In an ideal situation you would like to recruit someone of a similar mindset and drive as yourself and this of course is rarely feasible.

My view is that you would if there was someone that focused/driven showing up they may well indeed intend opening their own clinic very soon.

The above table is a biased, realistic at times but negative review of the private sector.

It can change in structure very rapidly if you put in place some of the systems, processes and structures that we discuss each week in Practice Nav.

The job snapshot outlined above is sometimes a realistic overview of what we can end up doing. You can struggle to sustain this in the long term so start to make changes now, you will look back and be glad you did.

Otherwise you may indeed have made a terrible mistake.

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Paddy Mulligan
Business Consultant