What Are Your Options For Developing New Primary Care Premises?

Octopus Healthcare

According to BMA survey 4 out of 10 GPs believe their premises are unfit for purpose. They are struggling to deliver essential primary care services because buildings are out-dated and have seen no real investment in the last decade or more.

Many primary care providers are dealing with more patients, with more complex medical needs, in buildings with limited access, sharing consulting rooms, and often in a poor general state of repair. Delivering on the government’s targets to provide more community-based care is simply not feasible in many GP premises.

While in some situations refurbishment is an option, for many the only real solution is to develop new purpose-built primary care premises. New facilities are vital for delivering the ambitions of the Five Year Forward View to grow the primary care workforce, extend access to general practice and to deliver a wider range of services in the community.

So what are the options available to GPs and other primary care providers?

The traditional model has been for GP practices to own their own premises with partners investing in the property and facilities. While ownership is attractive, the capital value of land and property being a key driver, ownership comes with inherent challenges.
The lack of investment in updating existing premises highlights the problem that GP partners face in getting funding to improve facilities. Another challenge for the ownership model is the issue of recruiting new partners and what happens when existing partners want to retire.

The alternative to premise ownership is to lease property. The trend towards this model is led in part by the NHS who favour GPs as tenants, and also the issue of securing investment for redevelopment, as well as the recruitment vs. retirement challenge outlined above. While naturally the lease model means that GP partners no longer enjoy the capital value of the asset; it does remove many of the risks and liabilities.

As a specialist primary care developer, we will secure investment and manage the entire project. This route results in more innovative, future-thinking premises as we will draw upon our experience. For owner occupied GP practices, leasing can also be an option. As partners with The Lewisham Care Partnership (TLCP) we have facilitated a sale and leaseback of the Morden Hill Surgery. This allowed the surgery to meet demand from a growing patient list.

For more information please visit our website.

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