GP premises fees could bring five-figure income boost

Practices could increase their income by five-figure sums by ensuring they are correctly charging organisations for using their premises, LMCs have said.

Dr John Grenville: don't be shy about charging for premises use
Dr John Grenville: don't be shy about charging for premises use

Derbyshire LMC successfully brokered a backdated £40,000 payment to a practice from an NHS organisation which used its premises.

LMC secretary Dr John Grenville, who did not want to identify the practice, said practices should ‘not be shy’ of charging market rates to other NHS organisations using their premises.

He said charging for premises usage could help offset potential losses to practices if NHS England's area teams take a tougher stance on rent reimbursement than PCTs.

Dr Grenville said: ‘Do not assume that the use of your premises by another NHS agency is not subject to the normal rules of the rental market.

‘Anything that you are not using yourself to deliver your contract, you can’t be reimbursed for by NHS England, so you cannot be reimbursed for parts of the premises which you are not using. So if it is being used by somebody else, you need to charge for it or be prepared to reimburse it yourself.

‘Practices should not be shy of charging market rates.’

NHS England's area teams took over rent reimbursement from PCTs on 1 April, and Dr Grenville warned that practices could no longer assume they would be reimbursed for parts of their premises being used by different NHS teams.

‘There are quite a few rooms dotted around nationally, which members of staff used to think of as being attached to the practice,' he said. 'These could be used by district nurses, midwives or health visitors. It is going to be a matter of negotiation and it is quite subjective whether they are being used for primary care or not.

‘PCTs took the view that if it is being used for the good of the patients and the practice, then rent reimbursement followed.’

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