Scottish bid to build practices

The Scottish government has relaunched a public-private partnership (PPP) deal to provide new GP premises.

The 'Hub' initiative was launched by Scotland's Labour government in 2006, to invest at least £350 million in practice premises and other public buildings over a decade. It was modelled on the Local Improvement Finance Trust (Lift) scheme used by the NHS in England.

But it has stalled since 2007, when an SNP administration was elected on a platform of scrapping all PPPs.

Now it has been relaunched by the Scottish Futures Trust, a company set up to fund infrastructure programmes using public money.

But deputy GPC Scotland chairman Dr Sandy Sutherland said the initiative was more likely to deliver a few large health centres, rather than the large number of new practice buildings required.

He added that plans to 'co-locate' practices with services such as social workers and police stations were likely to slow down delivery.

GPC Scotland chairman Dr Dean Marshall added: 'It doesn't matter which vehicle you use. There just aren't enough resources available for premises.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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