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Wesleyan Bank loan enables longstanding GP to remain king of the castle

Wesleyan Bank loan enables longstanding GP to remain king of the castle

The business

Situated in rural Essex, The Castle Surgery is a medium sized family GP practice and operates from two premises, a main site in Castle Hedingham and a branch surgery in Great Yeldham which has limited opening hours.

The Castle Surgery was established in 1981 and is renowned for possessing a good knowledge of its 5,000 patients and offering a friendly service. A recent report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) referenced the positive comments received from patients about the services available at the practice, the skills of the staff and the treatment provided by the GPs and nurses.

The challenge

The GP building located at Falcon Square, Castle Hedingham housed two separate, independent GP surgeries. Dr Paul Davis operated the Castle Hedingham Surgery while The Castle Surgery was operated by Dr William Littler who had worked at the practice since 1998. The GP building and associated notional rent was shared equally between the two doctors.

However the existing agreement became more complicated when Dr Davis announced he was retiring as the only permanent.

GP at the Castle Hedingham Surgery in December 2015 resulting in its closure. Discussions subsequently took place to determine whether the majority of Dr Davis�s 2,100 patients could be transferred to Dr Littler so that they could continue to receive primary health care services from January 2016.

"The other doctor's retirement presented me with an unexpected situation, and although this represented a good opportunity for me to expand my number of patients, it was something that I hadn't really planned for," explains Dr William Littler. "As the GP building was jointly owned, I had little option but to buy the other GP out or sell the whole thing which would have resulted in me losing my job."

The solution

Wesleyan Bank was well known to Dr Davis due to being part of the specialist mutual financial services provider, Wesleyan Group, who had provided locum insurance and income protection products to him for many years. Having been impressed by the attentive and reliable service he had received,

Dr Davis had no hesitation in recommending Wesleyan Bank's commercial financial solutions to Dr Littler.

"The service I received from Wesleyan compared to the high street banks I initially contacted couldn't have been more contrasting. The banks preferred approach appeared for me to speak to someone relatively junior over the phone and answer questions by going through a structured script, with no availability to meet with a senior representative in person," observed Dr Littler.

"Wesleyan were completely different. I was able to meet with a dedicated and experienced Busines Development Manager who had a comprehensive knowledge of GP practices which reassured me from the outset that he could help."

The process from arranging a valuation of the building to completing the drawdown facility took just four months. Wesleyan was able to provide Dr Littler with a secured six figure practice buy in loan against the GP listed building over 18 years. The loan was arranged to cover the purchase of the GP building and reimburse a proportion of an endowment policy shortfall.

"Everything progressed smoothly and I received a straightforward, personalised service which displayed the characteristics of good old-fashioned banking. I got to talk to the same representative from Wesleyan who was fully aware of my circumstances and could clearly explain the range of options that were available.

"It made a welcome change from speaking to someone from a high street bank in a call centre who didn't understand me or the challenges GP practices face, who was probably being guided by a computer system," continued Dr Littler.

The results and benefits

Having assumed responsibility for new members of staff and over 2,000 patients transferred across from the Castle Hedingham surgery, Dr Littler's initial plans are to consolidate and improve existing services which are already held in high regard. "Thanks to the guidance I received from Wesleyan my financial life is much simpler and I can plan with confidence for the future.

"I now have a secure low interest business loan on the GP building with no penalties for early repayment with affordable payment terms which work for me. "In the near future I will need to consider bringing on board a partner to work alongside me at the Castle Surgery and inevitably Wesleyan will be my first port of call," he added. patients," he adds.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Syscap Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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