Over the years Aitchison Raffety have provided advice to Practices within both owner-occupied and leased premises and the same issues continue to arise, which include the following:
- Concerns related to taking a 20 year lease where NHS England cannot guarantee the reimbursement for the full term;
- Concerns relating to property owning partners wishing to retire, however there is a lack of incoming partners wishing to buy into the Practice.
Aitchison Raffety have been involved in the agreement of various clauses within leases which aim to assist the Practice and alleviate these concerns and have also been able to agree ‘comfort letters’ from the CCG, which provide some reassurance to the Practice.
Scenarios will vary, but it is interesting to note that the ‘General Practice Premises Policy Review’ which was published in June 2019 has finally started to acknowledge these issues. The report states that the NHS or other appropriate bodies will consider taking on the lease assignment. The report continues to state that NHS England need to reassure GP’s in relation to these matters, which is a positive indication for the future of the GP Practices affected.
In light of this review, Aitchison Raffety have tried to encourage NHSE/CCG to provide reassurance in relation to these concerns where required, however unfortunately the CCG have responded stating that they have not yet been provided with guidance on how to fulfil this requirement. As a result, there is no definitive movement as of yet, although we are hopeful that further progress will be made before too long.
The report continues to note that guidance will be provided for all property-owning GPs, which will include details on future capital investment as well as in relation to maintenance and required standards of the property. As the matter progresses, we will of course give our readers a further update.
Aitchison Raffety have over 40 years’ experience in the healthcare property market and have successfully acted for numerous GP surgeries and healthcare providers, providing advice on leases, sale and leasebacks and the future of their practice. If you would like to discuss any of the above, please feel free to Aitchison Raffety.
For further information, please contact Georgina Silk, Healthcare Surveyor at Aitchison Raffety, or call 01727 844 555.