Health Services: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Olney Sarah Olney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to prevent medical businesses, such as dentists and ophthalmologists, from becoming insolvent as they are unable to access small business support.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Some small medical businesses could be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund, which provides a £10,000 cash grant to businesses which occupy a property in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.

Medical businesses which aren’t eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund should be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business. For example, private dentists and ophthalmologists who are self-employed could be eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Those who are employees and receive a salary through a PAYE scheme could be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. All employed staff in medical businesses, including support staff, could also be eligible for this scheme.

From Monday 4th May, small private medical businesses can also access the Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government. This is in addition to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which medical businesses can access if they can channel their activity through a business account.

Finally, the NHS has put out clear guidance that dentists will be fully remunerated for the NHS work they would have otherwise undertaken during the Covid-19 outbreak, subject to some basic requirements.

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