Working as a Psychologist outside of the NHS can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career path. There are several options open to people wishing to do this, for example, working as an associate or an employee in an established private practice, or working independently as a sole practitioner. Alternatively, some psychologists might dream of opening their own substantial private practice, offering multiple services, employing staff and engaging associate clinicians themselves. While there are many rewards that come with owning a sizable practice there are also some unique challenges which are helpful to understand. In this blog, we will explore the intricacies of owning a large private practice and delve into the potential obstacles and benefits that lie ahead.

The Rewards

Expanding Reach and Impact: One of the significant rewards of owning a large private practice is the ability to reach and help a larger number of clients. With a bigger team and broader range of specialties, you can offer a comprehensive range of services, cater to diverse client needs, and make a substantial positive impact on the community you serve. The satisfaction derived from knowing that your practice is making a difference can be immensely gratifying.

Professional Growth and Development: Managing a large private practice provides ample opportunities for professional growth and development. You can refine your leadership skills, enhance your business acumen, and gain valuable experience in practice management. Additionally, overseeing a team allows for knowledge sharing, collaborative learning, and exposure to different therapeutic approaches, enriching your own clinical expertise. It provides professional opportunities well beyond anything you could have expected to achieve or experience when you originally trained as a psychologist.

Financial Freedom: A well-run and successful large private practice can provide you with substantial financial freedom. The large client base, range of services, and team-based operations removes the necessity for you to provide clinical work yourself in order to derive an income. A practice with good profitability can provide you with personal and financial stability, giving you flexibility to choose what kind of work you do and indeed how much you work. Further, unlike when working as a sole practitioner the business is not ‘you’, it is an independent entity and it is an asset you can sell whenever you decide to retire or move on to new ventures.

The Challenges

Administrative and Management Responsibilities: As the owner of a sizeable private practice, you will be faced with increased administrative and management duties. Hiring and supervising a larger team of psychologists and support staff, overseeing client intake processes, managing financial aspects, and maintaining compliance with regulations becomes more complex and time-consuming. There is also a premises to manage and many other business-related tasks. Striking a balance between different roles can be a considerable challenge and for most, it will require a considerable reduction in client work (which may or may not be something you want to do).

Maintaining Consistency and Quality of Care: With a larger team and increased caseload, ensuring consistent and high-quality care across all client interactions becomes paramount. Implementing standardised assessment/treatment protocols, and developing consistent clinical and administrative processes is essential to ensure quality of care. Dealing with complaints and incidents effectively and ethically, as well as maintaining effective communication channels is crucial. It requires constant effort and vigilance to ensure that your practice’s reputation for excellence remains intact.

Developing Business Skills: Learning business skills can be a steep learning curve for individuals who have in fact trained as healthcare providers. Understanding the complex and interconnected nature of various business functions can be challenging. From finance and marketing to operations and strategy, each area requires a solid foundation of knowledge and an ability to comprehend how they interact. Analysing data, identifying opportunities, and making sound judgments amidst uncertainty can demanding. Overcoming these challenges and mastering business acumen is a journey that demands dedication and a commitment learning.

The Franchise Option

Owning a large private practice as part of a franchise offers a distinct experience compared to running it independently. When operating within a franchise, you benefit from the support and resources provided by the franchise network. The franchise brings established foundations, including proven business models, developed services, administrative systems, HR procedures, marketing strategies, and clinical governance frameworks. This relieves you from the time-consuming task of building these elements from scratch, allowing you to focus on managing and growing your practice.

Additionally, being part of a franchise provides access to a network of like-minded professionals, fostering collaboration and shared knowledge. The franchise’s brand recognition and reputation can also contribute to attracting clients and expanding your client base. Overall, owning a large private practice within a franchise offers a combination of independence and support, empowering you to thrive in your career journey while leveraging the strength and expertise of the larger network.

The Purple House Clinic is a UK-based network of franchised psychological healthcare clinics. We offer a fantastic franchising opportunity for qualified psychologists to own, operate and grow their very own Purple House Clinic. Franchisees enjoy the satisfaction of building their own high-quality service, free from the constraints of working within the NHS.

At our clinics, a comprehensive array of services is provided by expert, multi-disciplinary clinical teams. These services encompass psychological therapy, neurodevelopmental assessments, educational psychology services, psychiatry, and occupational therapy. When you become a Purple House Clinic owner, you’ll be equipped with the necessary knowledge, systems, resources, and support to quickly establish your own thriving practice.

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