The review of general practice premises policy being carried out by NHS England is one of several strands of GP contract reform work underway that NHS leaders say could trigger its biggest overhaul since the current GMS deal took effect in 2004.
A page on NHS England's website setting out the scope of the review and the call for solutions says that 'suitable premises are vital for the delivery of high quality care'.
However, it warns that 'a range of barriers' have been identified that are holding back premises improvement, including the 'last partner standing' concerns raised by GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey earlier this year at the BMA's annual conference. Barriers highlighted by NHS England include:
- liabilities for GP partners associated with estate ownership or lease-holding - 'last partner standing'.
- a perception that estate ownership is unattractive and may be putting off prospective GP partners from entering into partnerships.
- sub-optimal utilisation of estate.
- mixed use, particularly of new builds, can be difficult to achieve due to balance of liability across the different parties involved.
- revenue implications of estate preventing developments.
NHS England is halfway through a four-week open call for solutions - which runs until 5 September - and is calling for solutions 'from those designed to address specific issues to those which would require a more significant system reconfiguration'.
The GP premises review is being carried out by NHS England working alongside the GPC, RCGP, DHSC and other groups. The review is gathering data to build a full picture of premises problems and the current general practice estate, and will 'propose recommendations for the ownership and operating models for general practice estate which address the identified barriers and enable the delivery of premises which are fit for current and future purpose'.
GPs keen to respond to the review can download a pack of supporting information download a pack of supporting information here.
You can click here to respond to the review online, or post a response to New Business Models, Area 3D NHS England, Skipton House, 80 London Road, London SE1 6LH.