Exclusive: GPs in line for share of £125m premises investment

Primary care premises in England are set to benefit from a share of £125m in capital funding, GP magazine can reveal.

Dr Ian Harper: investment 'tip of the iceberg' (photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Ian Harper: investment 'tip of the iceberg' (photo: Pete Hill)

NHS Property Services Ltd has revealed that £125m has been earmarked for its capital investment programme, to ‘build new projects’ and carry out ‘major refurbishments’ in 2013/14.

However, the amount being allocated to primary care estates has yet to be decided.

LMC leaders have called for recurrent investment in GP premises. GPC lead negotiator on premises Dr Peter Holden has previously called for an annual investment of £250m a year from central government.

Medical director of Surrey and Sussex LMCs Dr Ian Harper welcomed the investment. But he warned that GP premises have been starved of investment for so long, that this money was just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ needed to get primary care estates up to scratch.

‘Our area team was unaware of any investment available to general practice only two days ago, so this is news to me. The Surrey and Sussex area team said they were expecting estates policy to be set in October. We welcome the investment,' he said.

‘I suspect it will only touch the tip of the iceberg, to bring primary care estates up to the ideal standard.

‘We have got lists of premises that are badly in need of capital investment and investment has been stalled. There is a continuous need for investment in practices.’

A spokeswoman for NHS Property Services, which took over management of PCT-owned property on 1 April, said: ‘NHS Property Services is developing a capital investment process and plan in consultation with NHS England and the DH. We have received £125m to contribute to this programme.

‘This plan will be informed by the on-going analysis of information provided by PCTs and the needs of commissioners and local health economies.

‘The process to identify, specify and build new projects and major refurbishments is still being developed. Predecessor organisations provided information on investment projects they had identified locally. NHS Property Services is now working with commissioners to confirm that these proposals still have the appropriate level of interest and support in the relevant local health economies. This work will lead to investment across the NHS estate, including primary care facilities.’

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