Newsflash: Unlocking funding for GP premises
A recent article published in GP Magazine, click here to view, highlights that GP practices may be missing out on millions of pounds in premises funding available through the planning system.
New housing and commercial developments naturally produce strain on local infrastructure (eg schools, transport and of course healthcare) as the population increases. The planning system enables local planning authorities (LPAs) to raise funding via the developer for new infrastructure under s106 agreements or the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
More people of course means more patients presenting both growth opportunities and challenges for GP practices. Aside from workforce issues these challenges include increasing clinical space not to mention ensuring the premises are suitable for 21st century primary care.
As the article suggests, unlocking funding through the planning system is complicated. Numerous agencies are involved in the process, many of whom are competing over the same pot with the LPA tasked with applying it for the benefit of the community as a whole. Making sure GP voices are heard can be challenging and most are reliant on the quality of the local NHS estates strategy and the pro-activeness of their CCG to push open doors. Primary Care Networks present an opportunity for practices to come together and increase influence further but there is certainly work to be done to ensure primary care is making the most of funding opportunities under s106 and CIL.
There are or course other funding options available including the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, mortgage finance or, where premises are leased or sold under a sale and leaseback, via the landlord under a 3PD scheme. Where a grant is involved it is important to understand that the funding will be subject to strict terms and these need to be understood and threaded together with other premises obligations (eg mortgages, the lease and/or partnership agreements between the GP principals).
If you would like to find out more about the funding for GP premises developments and how we can assist generally, please contact our specialist team.
Contact our GP advice line
Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP Advice Line.
Our team of experts can offer GPs and members of their teams up to ten minutes’ free preliminary advice with a solicitor.