Posted on 24 May 2012.

There are still a surprisingly large number of GP practices operating from premises which only just meet the minimum required standards for primary care facilities. Within our current client portfolio for example, we know of a number of planned projects which desperately need to happen, yet the funding is not currently available.

I am not at all surprised that the General Practice Council is seeking to bring this issue of funding for primary care upgrades or new builds to the forefront of Government ministers’ minds. This major issue urgently needs addressing, particularly in light of the Care Quality Commission regulations which kick in next April.

Some GPs think that some form of reimbursement per patient would work, but I feel this model is probably too simplistic and in any event provides no incentive to upgrade or expand premises in advance of future growth of patient numbers. There is a danger that we could create a whole raft of bureaucracy to replace the existing reimbursement process under the Doctors Rent and Rates Scheme. And although this is by no means perfect, in the main it does work.

As the queue for funding gets longer, whatever reimbursement process we eventually end up with, if you have plans to develop your practice, you must ensure that you are in the queue armed with a good business plan and an outline scheme. At Neil Mason Associates, we have the skills, knowledge and contacts to ensure that you can tick all the boxes. If you have a scheme in mind, or if you would just like to chat through some initial ideas, please feel free to contact me.

Neil Mason FRICS

May 2012