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General practice tool kit

Closing, relocating, merging and selling your practice

Relocating your practice

Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

Moving your practice

Although relocating a general practice is a complex process, you might decide it’s a good idea if, for example:

  • you’ve outgrown your practice’s premises
  • you’ve found more suitable premises or a better location
  • the demographics of your patient population has changed
  • other external factors (such as surrounding building developments, council regulations and rates change) make a move desirable.

Whether you’re relocating down the road, across town or to a new suburb or area, you will need to thoroughly plan all aspects of the move, and prioritise the various activities.

Factors to consider and plan for include:

  • Financial costs of relocating. For example, will you lose income if you have to close the practice while you move, will you need to purchase new furniture and equipment, how much will it cost to update printed material, how much will it cost for removalists?
  • Overlap of both premises. You may need a period when you have both premises. Consider how long you will realistically need to move the practice, and clean the previous premises or restore it to its original condition if required. Plan for the unexpected and build in some buffer time.
  • Maintenance of cold chain. Determine how you will maintain medication and vaccination integrity.
  • Accreditation. You must notify your accreditation agency of your intention to relocate as soon as possible. Following review, your practice’s accreditation certificate will be re-issued to reflect your new location. For more information, refer to the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care’s Physical relocation of a general practice to other premises resource.
  • Update your Medicare provider number location. Do this as soon as practicable, taking into consideration approval timeframes. Refer to DHS for advice.
  • Website and other collateral. Plan how and when you will update your website, brochures, fact sheets, business cards and so on with new details, such as phone, address, parking, changes to admin and clinical staff, opening hours, and other benefits (eg that you will be co-locating with other health services).
  • Staffing. Will all of your staff move with you? Will you need replacement or additional staff? Or fewer staff?
  • Notifications: How and when will you notify patients and providers? 
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