'No easy solution' to premises crisis, says GPC

There is 'no easy solution' to the premises crisis facing general practice, GP leaders have warned, amid concerns that practices will be unable to accommodate new staff brought in through primary care networks.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni (Photo: BMA)
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni (Photo: BMA)

Speaking at the Londonwide LMCs conference on Tuesday GPC executive team member Dr Krishna Kasaraneni described premises as a ‘huge issue’.

He said the expansion of GP premises was ‘crucial’ to the implementation of the new GP contract, which includes plans to create primary care networks that will recruit 20,000 allied health professionals into the workforce - warning that the plans ‘won’t work if there is no space’.

His comments came in response to concerns raised by an audience member who said: ‘One of the major problems we’re facing in our area is having to house everyone. We do have teams that work across practices but there is no real estate… It is very costly and there doesn’t seem to be support for this moving as fast as the primary care networks are.’

Dr Kasaraneni admitted that he was also experiencing problems with his own practice premises. ‘I know the exact problems that you have. In my practice the only place I’ve got left now is a car park and a loo to put any extra staff in. We hot desk because we haven’t got any capacity.’

Premises crisis

This comes just weeks after GP partnership review chair Dr Nigel Watson told GPonline that NHS England’s premises review - launched in 2018 - would be ‘critical’ to the success of primary care networks.

NHS England and the GPC agreed to carry out a review of GP premises policy to ensure that the system was 'fit for purpose both now and in the future' as part of the contract negotiations for 2018/19.

This includes a review of premises cost directions, which set out how premises costs incurred by practices are reimbursed and how other funding, such as for premises improvements, is delivered.

Dr Kasaraneni said he expected the premises review to be published ‘in the next few weeks’.

‘We don’t have an easy solution to this right now,’ he told the Londonwide LMCs conference. ‘The premises review has to come out acknowledging the fact that the direction of travel in general practice and in primary care is expansion of the team and we need space to do that. And if we sign off the premises cost directions, which have been crafted over the last three years, I’m hoping they will be the 2019 version… It has to be 2019 because this won’t work if there is no space.

‘I think that it’s a problem, I haven’t got a solution for you today but I think that it is crucial to expansion of the team to 20,000 extra people in general practice.’

The BMA has said the government must use the upcoming spending review urgently to invest in practice premises.

NHS England said that premises review was 'due to conclude shortly', however there is no timeframe for when its recommendations will be published.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

Older adults living in care homes and staff working there will be first to receive...

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs facing fitness to practise investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic will be...

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

A government review has rejected calls for a major overhaul of an NHS Property Services...

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

The RCGP and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have called on GP practices and community...

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments have risen rapidly in recent weeks as schools returned, according...

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

Medical training and the future NHS workforce could be seriously damaged by the financial...