GPC demands investment in GP premises

Increased funding for GP premises is vital to support the transfer of work out of hospital into primary care, the GPC will argue in negotiations with NHS Employers this year.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman: premises funding vital
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman: premises funding vital

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that the committee would be negotiating with NHS Employers for improved GP premises in all four UK countries.

Dr Buckman said improving GP premises was vital if GPs were going to take on more work from secondary care. ‘GPs don’t object to doing the work but they need a place to do it,’ he said.

He said that in Northern Ireland the government had already committed funding for the improvement of GP premises.

‘The other three nations have recognised the need but they haven’t yet put up any money,’ Dr Buckman said.

However he added that the issue was not just to do with governments giving money to GPs to improve their premises.

‘It’s about GPs' ability to loan money. Because of the financial situation it has been more difficult than ever for GPs to borrow money.’

However, health secretary Andrew Lansley has said that improving GP premises would be difficult with the limited funding available.

In a speech at the Commissioning 2012 event in Kensington, London last month Mr Lansley said the challenge for improving GP premises was identifying how to do so with the limited capital funding available.

He said: ‘Estates is tough because we have just gone through a process of identifying all the estates that will transfer to other providers, to NHS PropCo.

‘Capital funding is still a difficult part of the whole process for managing the NHS budget.’

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