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MediEstates - Get a head start on your CQC application process
Get a head start on your CQC application process

Get a head start on your CQC application process


Buying or selling a dental practice is amongst the biggest and most important decisions that anyone makes in their dental career. A successful sale is based on thorough preparation and information gathering, and although preparing well in advance can make the process less stressful, without expert guidance it can still become something of a labyrinth.

Planning the transition of a practice sale is one thing, but navigating a way through the application process to ensure you are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and prepared for your CQC interview is something else entirely.

Applying first for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, then completing the long and detailed application forms and waiting for the CQC to process the applications often takes months and can be fraught with difficulties. In addition, any lenders involved may hold back the finance until CQC registration is finalised. In the same way sellers must be up to speed.

Obtaining a DBS certificate
The DBS provides a central service for undertaking police and identity checks. All organisations where people may come into contact with vulnerable adults or children, are required to ensure they are vetted via the DBS certification process, which, for dental practices, must also be countersigned by the CQC.
DBS checks can take a minimum of four weeks from application and it’s understandable that many dentists think it wise to apply for certification as early in the sale process as possible. However, this is not always the case as the CQC will only accept DBS certificates valid within six months of issue. Depending on the nature of the practice acquisition and the time it will take, it may be advisable to seek professional advice and hold back on applying for certification too early in the process.

The CQC registration process
Once the DBS certificate has been received the application to the CQC can proceed. This is a detailed and complex process and can take a long time to complete, anything up to 14 weeks. The CQC provides a wide range of information and guidance on the registration process but this in itself can be time-consuming to read.

It’s essential that all forms are completed correctly and on time, as any mistakes or missing information will lead to the CQC rejecting the application, significantly slowing down the process. If and when the CQC agrees to a registration, it sends out a notice of confirmation and arranges an interview to assess the buyer’s fitness to practise and examine the relevant documents or request further documentation be supplied.

Once the CQC assessor is satisfied, a comfort letter will be issued and once this is received the variation notice can then be served to NHS England. Once this variation notice is accepted, NHS England will confirm a date on which the transaction is able to complete.

Getting the right help
The lengthy and often stressful CQC application process is not to be underestimated and thanks to its complexity there are many aspects that can go awry. That’s why it makes sense to look for assistance to ensure that the process can be completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

At Mediestates we now provide a specialist service to advise, support and complete applications for both buyers and sellers going through the CQC application process, specifically tailored to the individual needs of the practice. This new, extended service helps with statutory notifications, provides information on how to register as a new provider, and advises on drafting and implementation of CQC registration, including organisations, partnerships and cost sharing agreements. In addition, we also provide buyers with a step-by-step guide that helps prepare for the all-important CQC interview and are the only agent to offer this important and valuable assistance.

We work on a consultancy basis and can guide clients through the application process or alternatively we can complete the process on their behalf to ensure everything is in place to receive CQC registration confirmation at the earliest opportunity. With so many other important things to think about during the buying and selling of a practice, dealing with CQC registration correctly from the start can ensure peace of mind and reduces the chance of suffering any major setbacks to the purchase or sale of a practice.

Mediestates CQC Consultancy Service is completely free of charge to those clients currently engaged in a transaction through Mediestates. For those who are not, we are still happy to provide the service for a flat fee of £350 +VAT.


Practice One
Practice Location
- this practice is situated in central London, close to many local shops and services. It has been established for over 25 years and is extremely popular amongst patients due to its central location and excellent transport links, making it easily accessible for all.

Type of Practice - this is a four-surgery practice, which offers extended opening hours, making it convenient for the working population. Income is derived primarily through an NHS contract, which presents further opportunity to increase turnover by advertising other available treatments. The practice is situated in a traditional end terrace property with space available should the incoming buyer wish to expand and add additional surgeries. The property is available on a leasehold or freehold basis, which makes it highly desirable to a wider market audience.

Financials - annual turnover of £873,928 is derived through an attractive NHS base of £803,000 for approximately 24,000 UDAs, resulting in a significantly higher than average UDA rate. The additional income is delivered through fee per item and capitation based patients. The private element could easily be increased if desired with additional surgeries added to accommodate the extra clinical hours required.

Buyer Appetites - the practice was successfully marketed to our premier tier buyers and proved extremely popular amongst enthusiastic dentists looking to expand their portfolio. Eight viewings were arranged, which resulted in multiple offers being received over and above the asking price.

Reason for Sale/Incoming Purchaser - the practice was presented to the market as a result of the current owners wishing to reduce their responsibilities and wind down in preparation for their eventual retirement. The vendors were willing to stay on at the practice in a part-time role, which suited the incoming purchaser who did not plan to work at the practice but instead purchased as an investment opportunity to expand their existing portfolio.

Price Achieved - £2,200,000 inclusive of the goodwill, equipment, fixtures and fittings. The sale was agreed on a leasehold basis with a rent of £27,250 per annum.
Practice Two
Practice Location
- established for 40 years and having relocated in 2008 to new premises, this practice is situated in one of Yorkshire’s major cities. The practice is located within a residential area and benefits from on-street parking as well as good transport links and nearby shops and services.

Type of Practice - this is an expense-sharing, mainly private, three-surgery practice, which benefits from a strong capitation scheme alongside fee-per-item treatments and a small NHS contract. The practice occupies a two-story building, with only the ground floor currently utilised providing huge scope for expansion for an incoming purchaser. The freehold premises, worth circa £550,000, was owned by the outgoing principals who were open to options on a leasehold or freehold sale.

Financials - annual turnover of £420,000 comprises a £13,000 NHS contract, £172,000 capitation and £235,000 fee per item income. By utilising the unused first floor of the building, this would give the incoming buyer huge scope for increasing chair time and turnover.

Buyer Appetites - the practice was sold on the general market with comprehensive details being sent to over 180 buyers, resulting in several viewings being carried out at the practice.

Reason for Sale/Incoming Purchaser - both vendors wished to retire from the business and end their long running expense sharing partnership. The successful buyer was a local dentist who was financially able to offer on both the business and the freehold premises.

Price Achieved - £900,000 inclusive of goodwill, equipment fixtures, fittings and freehold.
Practice Three
Practice Location
- this practice was purchased as a going concern by the outgoing principal over 23 years ago and is ideally positioned within a purpose built ‘health hub’ alongside other health and wellbeing professionals. Located within a large northern city, the practice benefits from ample car parking facilities as well as easily accessible transport routes.

Type of Practice - this one-surgery NHS practice has excellent expansion potential through the addition of further surgeries and the growth of fee-per-item treatments. The practice income is generated solely by the vendor who will cease working at the practice post-sale. The premises are offered on a leasehold basis.

Financials - annual turnover of £167,000 is delivered purely through the NHS contract, which comprises a healthy UDA rate of £29.18. There is significant potential to double or even treble the turnover by introducing private treatments, utilising additional chair time or expanding in to empty surgeries.

Buyer Appetites - we successfully marketed the practice with sales particulars being sent to 206 of our priority and general market tier buyers. Interest in the practice was high resulting in 11 viewings being arranged and subsequently seven offers being placed.

Reason for Sale/Incoming Purchaser - the vendor was looking to retire due to ill health. The incoming purchaser already owned another local practice and was keen to further expand their existing portfolio.

Price Achieved - £325,000 of the goodwill, equipment fixtures and fittings.
Posted by: Dean Barker on 21 Sep 2017

General Buyer Terms 

This agreement is in relation to MediEstates Limited whose registered office is at 1st Floor, Pacific House, Stanier Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6BF acting for and on behalf of our clients ("the Vendors"); and yourself (Buyer's Name) in relation for an introduction to a prospective sale of a business as a going concern. By registering through this agreement I agree to all terms set out below:

  1. Definitions
    In this Agreement the following terms and phrases shall have the following meaning unless the context otherwise requires:

    Business
    Dental Practice business providing dental care. This business is under the MediEstates Ltd sale terms.
    Confidential Information
    Means the actual Vendors identity and all confidential information in respect of the Business, including, but not limited to, any ideas, business methods, prices, accounts, finance, marketing, research, development, manpower plans, processes, market opportunities, intentions, design rights, product information, customer lists or details, employees’ details, trade secrets, computer systems and software, and other matters connected with the products or services manufactured, marketed, provided or obtained by the Vendor, and information concerning the Vendor’s relationships with actual or potential clients or customers and the needs and requirements of such clients’ or customers’ operations.
  2. Obligation of Confidentiality
    The Prospective Purchaser agrees to treat as confidential, information supplied by or on behalf of the Vendor in connection with the sale of the Business.
  3. Exclusions
    The obligation of confidentiality set out in clause 2 does not apply to:
    1. any information received from a third party who was legally free at the time of disclosure to disclose it;
    2. any information which was already lawfully in the Prospective Purchaser’s possession prior to receiving it from MediEstates Ltd on behalf of the Vendor; and
    3. any information which is in its entirety already in the public domain.
  4. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    1. The Prospective Purchaser shall take such a reasonable security measures to protect the Confidential Information and trade secrets.
    2. The Prospective Purchaser shall not, without the prior written consent of the Vendor, permit any of the Confidential Information:
      1. to be disclosed, other than in confidence to its legal or professional advisors;
      2. to be copied or reproduced;
      3. to be commercially exploited in any way;
      4. to be used for any purpose other than in connection with the prospective purchase of the Business;
      5. MediEstates is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. Upon Signing this agreement you agree to follow the legal obligations of this act to protect the details of the information supplied to you, with it no to be passed outside of the control of you the prospective purchaser.
    3. The Prospective Purchaser agrees to keep a record of Confidential Information received.
    4. The Prospective Purchaser will return to MediEstates or the Vendor all documents containing Confidential Information and all copies of those documents on demand at any time which are in its possession or under its control, and for this purpose the term “documents” includes computer discs and all other materials capable of storing data and information. The Prospective Purchaser agrees that such documents remain the property of the MediEstates on behalf of the Vendor.
    5. The Prospective Purchaser must not jeopardise or re-direct the sale under any circumstances.
    6. The Prospective Purchaser must not contact the Local Area Team or CCG regarding any practice sale, by any means of media unless written permission is granted from the Vendor.
    7. To carry out own due diligence on practice purchases and accepts that any information MediEstates has supplied is information provided by the vendor and is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.
  5. This Agreement
    The existence of this Agreement and its terms are confidential and neither MediEstates nor the Purchaser may disclose anything about this Agreement or its subject matter or implementation to any person other than in confidence to their legal or professional advisers.
  6. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    When buying Dental practices, finance is normally needed. Our organisation operated over more than one of the MediHoldings brand, by completing this from you agree that the information can be shared to our other organisations to avoid the need to register independently and provide the best possible service.

    MediEstates will refer you to the specialist dental lending team and MediFinancial who will contact the necessary banks, whom have preferential healthcare lending rates in some cases, to ascertain which funding is available to you.
    By signing this agreement you do not have to use any of the banks MediFinancial contact, it is just another service which we provide.
  7. Deposit for Dental Practice
    If you are interested in putting forward a formal offer in for a practice, once the offer is accepted there will be a deposit required to secure the practice sale which is dependant of the practice size. This deposit is held in a client account and will be returned to the buyer on completion of the practice sale. You the buyer, will be required to sign a deposit schedule which will cover the buyer and the seller in the event that the practice sale does not proceed.
  8. Changes to this Agreement
    Any changes made to this agreement must be authorised and signed by one of MediEstates Ltd Directors.
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