Why Consultant Groups are a Win-Win
Over the past 5 years, more and more Consultants working in private practice have chosen to form small groups, rather than operate as sole practitioners. The advantages to such Consultants are primarily marketing-related, with pooling of funds into the development of websites, brochures, and PR, as well as administrative support etc The advantages to patients, though possibly not so immediately apparent, are potentially far more substantial.
As with any team, you are only as strong as your weakest player; team selection is therefore vital, and the onus falls on everyone to perform to their best, and to assist others in ensuring the same. So too therefore with such groups. If a Consultant, who is part of such a group, receives a number of complaints, whether related to misdiagnosis, surgical efficacy, bedside manner, or simply timekeeping, this potentially tarnishes the name of the entire group. Any element of complacency is therefore unlikely to be tolerated. Equally, it is suddenly in the Consultants’ interests, not simply the patients’, to seek second opinions from colleagues.
An additional advantage to patients, includes their investment in on-site hi-tech equipment, such as x-ray and MRI; something beyond the financial means of the sole practitioner. This not only invariably significantly accelerates the referral process, allowing for same day scanning, but where a radiographer is also on site, the pressure is again on to ensure that nothing is missed.
As physiotherapists, it is very important to us whom we refer patients on to for further investigation or surgery, as the quality of that consultation very much reflects on us. At Physiotherapy London, as a specialist clinic, it is obviously particularly important that we identify and work with only the very best. In the same way, Consultants are aware that Physiotherapists have the ability to optimise or jeopardise the outcome of their surgery; so they too undoubtedly put serious consideration into whom they refer their patients on to. Where groups of Consultants or Physiotherapists are concerned, if either a Consultant or a Physio fails to meet the expectations of the other at any point, it may not simply therefore be that patient who is referred elsewhere, but all subsequent patients who might otherwise have been referred to that group of Consultants/Physiotherapists.
Health professionals are invariably loathe to make any form of comparison with companies such as McDonalds. However, there’s no denying that it’s an excellent example of the link between brand and expectation; so finely tuned that any slight discrepancy will cause customers to baulk. Consultant Groups, and clinic’s such as ourselves, are brands, with high reputations to which they/we must therefore constantly live up to. This is undoubtedly in the best interest of patients.
A number of excellent London-based groups include:
- London Orthopaedic Clinic: http://www.londonorthopaedic.com/
- Fortius Clinic: http://www.fortiusclinic.com/
- London Sports Orthopaedics: http://www.sportsortho.co.uk/
- London Bridge Orthopaedics: http://www.londonbridgeorthopaedics.co.uk/
- Chelsea Orthopaedics: http://www.chelsea-orthopaedics.co.uk/about-chelsea-orthopaedics