Following the announcement by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley that a government-owned limited company will take over the ownership and management of many NHS properties, GPs are being urged to check their leases in order to avoid costly future repairs.
According to Mr Lansley, NHS Property Services will “take ownership of and manage that part of the existing primary care trust estate that will not transfer to NHS community care providers under the plans for healthcare reform set out in the health and social care bill.”
A key part of the property portfolio that will be transferred to NHS Property Services in 2013 is GP practices owned by primary care trusts. Therefore, GPs – and especially those based in older properties – should check that they have an up-to-date premises lease in place which establishes when their liability for repairs starts.
Without such safeguards in place, doctors could find themselves facing a bill for thousands of pounds of building repairs which should have been the responsibility of the primary care trust.
Further details about how GP surgeries will be affected by the change of ownership will “follow in due course”, according to the Department of Health.