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Practice name

Q: What steps does the practice need to take concerning the partners' plan to rebrand it by giving it a new name?

A: As long as the legal constitution of the partnership itself is not changing (it is a change of name rather than a change of legal entity) the procedure should be relatively straightforward.

All existing contracts and relationships would remain as they are, although it would of course be essential to notify all those parties with whom the practice has dealings, including its bank that the business is changing its name. Then contracts may be reissued in the correct name.

Before doing so, however, the partnership should pass a formal vote to this effect and should at least initial the name change decision in the partnership minutes.

They may also wish to update their partnership deed, although this could be deferred until other amendments to it are required.

It was crucial to alert the PCT to the name change in good time and to make it clear that it is no more than a rebranding exercise and not a change in constitution (as otherwise the PCT may consider it has to put the practice's NHS contract out to tender).

The PCT may offer the practice guidance as to how to notify patients, but unless anything more specific is suggested, a notice in reception announcing the change of name should be adequate.

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