General practitioner Practice manager GP practices

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How to employ shared staff

This is a guide for GP practices on how to employ shared staff. It covers secondments, joint employment, VAT considerations, alternative arrangements and managing change.

  • Are you a GP employer, practice manager or other employee who has identified work time that is not currently being fully utilised, and which may be provided to another practice on a fee-charging basis? 
  • Have you identified a vacancy that requires filling by your practice for which you wish to utilise the services of a skilled individual without having to employ one directly?
  • Do you have neighbouring practices who would like to jointly deliver a service provided by a shared staff member?

If so this guidance may help you. By sharing staff between neighbouring practices (i.e. those operating from the same or nearby premises), you may be able to make savings by utilising a secondment or joint employment arrangement. Which arrangement you choose will depend on your business needs and the type of work that needs to be carried out.

This is a general guide. For specific employment advice members should contact the Employment Advisory Service or contact our advisers.

It is not within the BMA's core remit to provide financial or VAT advice, and practices should contact a financial adviser on any such related issues. 

This guidance covers:

Joint employment
VAT considerations
Alternative arrangements and managing change


Further resources

Guidance to practices on how to employ shared staff (PDF)

GP networks and federations

Guidance on clusters (Wales)

RCGP case studies