GP premises development frozen

No new GP practice premises improvements will be funded before April 2014 and a freeze on development may continue beyond that time, GP leaders have warned.

Dr David Geddes: premises development on hold (photo: Jason Lancy)

The GPC says it has been told by NHS England that area teams do not currently have funding to progress premises developments that had not already received 'final approval and confirmation of funding' before PCTs were abolished in April 2013.

The GPC reports that a letter from NHS England head of primary care Dr David Geddes says area teams 'will not be in a position to progress business cases which are still pending approval, or to consider any new developments until April 2014 at the earliest'.

However, the GPC says NHS England has confirmed its 'intention to remove barriers to future premises development from 2014/15'.

'Following on from a recent review of capital commitments by area teams, NHS England is now undertaking an audit of the current backlog of business cases,' a GPC newsletter reads. 'Dr Geddes has asked area teams to prioritise all outstanding business cases against set criteria which match the NHS England business case approval guidance for capital investment.'

GPs have raised concerns that NHS England’s area teams have been refusing to sign off premises deals agreed with PCTs before their abolition in April this year.

Practice premises deals are falling through because of inaction by NHS England's area teams, GP leaders have warned.

Some practices in desperate need of new premises could have been relocated by now if the deals had been completed, GPs say. But instead they face uncertainty, with some deals collapsing altogether.

The GPC has estimated that £250m a year is needed for GP premises in England.

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