Tributes have been coming in following the unexpected death of the specialist medical accountant Dr Ray Stanbridge.
A valued adviser and friend to thousands of doctors, both past and present in private practice, he passed away shortly before Christmas at the age of 75.
Dr Stanbridge, chairman of Independent Practitioner Today’s publishing company The Independent Practitioner Ltd, had been advising the medical accounting industry for over 30 years.
With his vast experience of medical tax matters and practice valuations, he set up Stanbridge Consultants to specialise in consultancy and new perspective tax planning services to the UK healthcare industry.
Over the years he worked for eminent consultant-led clinics, hospitals and medical practices both in the UK and abroad, providing feasibility and best practice accounting and management advice.
He also designed and delivered accounting and business training programmes for UK medical professional bodies, and was the founder and former owner of Stanbridge Associates Ltd.
As well as writing for Independent Practitioner Today, Dr Stanbridge was a contributor to the BVR/AHLA Guide to Healthcare Industry Compensation and Valuation – a regular textbook used in the US.
Stephen Collier, chairman of the Healthcare Purchasing Alliance, said: ‘Ray’s death is a real loss to the sector. Ray was above all a commercially minded innovator, helping introduce new models of consultant private practice and creating innovative joint ventures with hospitals and others.
‘Ray was a strong advocate for consultants and negotiated successfully for them with a wide range of counterparties.
‘His engaging and thoughtful style, coupled with a warm dry humour, made working with him easy. He rapidly became the go-to advisor on practice valuation, and his published data on private practice earnings and costs brought a new clarity and openness.
‘His opinion on innovation in private practice was often sought, and always respected. But he never forgot whose interests he represented – his consultant clients. He will be missed.’
Dr Stanbridge was also active as a lay member on the finance committee and executive board of the Independent Doctors Federation (IDF) whose president, Dr Phil Batty, said: ‘Our thoughts go to Ray’s family and close friends. Ray was an exemplary servant to the IDF.
‘I speak on behalf of my fellow board members when I say we will miss his sharp observations and insight. Personally, I will miss his advice and counsel. This is a great loss to his family but also the IDF.’
A Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the UK, Dr Stanbridge trained with KPMG for four years working in London, Paris and Ethiopia.
He later spent time as head of business planning for an agri-business group in the UK. In addition to his Leeds degree, Dr Stanbridge held an MSc from the University of Nottingham and a PhD in economics from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
He leaves three children and seven grandchildren, most of whom now enjoy and live in the sunny warmer climates of the southern hemisphere.
Robin Stride, Independent Practitioner Today’s editorial director, said: ‘Ray was not just a specialist medical accountant, he was a super specialist.
‘He helped consultants nationwide set up and grow hugely successful independent practices and worked tirelessly on countless projects in private healthcare. He was a visionary and the first port of call for many hospitals and companies in the sector who wanted wise advice.
‘Ray was often well ahead of the times and preached the value of marketing for consultants in private practice a decade before it came more into fashion. He was widely sought after for his knowledge but always remained humble. We have lost a dear business partner and friend.’