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Clear and practical guidance on premises issues from our experts
Premises form the most crucial aspect of any medical practice as without them it is quite simply impossible to provide a service. Furthermore, unlike other types of accommodation (such as offices), it is not possible simply to find alternative medical premises down the road. Planning issues are always of paramount importance and particularly in the case of NHS premises, the DV and NHS Property Services have a significant impact on what you may wish to do.
A GP’s right to occupy can arise in a variety of different ways:
- through owner-occupation
- through being a tenant under a leasehold arrangement
- through occupying premises owned/leased by a third party by way of a Licence (which offers no “legal interest” in the premises but simply offers “permission” to occupy).
Whether you are an owner or an occupier, it is essential to ensure that the basis of your occupation is clearly documented in order to avoid a subsequent dispute. From the owner’s perspective, it is crucial to ensure someone you regard as a mere occupier, should not acquire rights over your premises. On the other hand, as an occupier, you would wish to ensure that the owner would not be in a position to eject you, thus denying you the opportunity to continue your practice.
New developments in this area
The provision of new premises has been high on the Government agenda for the last few years. This has resulted in the rolling out of many new “polyclinic” type premises under both LIFT and 3PD. These are both extremely complicated arrangements and may require extensive negotiation in order to ensure the doctor/occupier is placed in a fair position and not exposed unduly to liability and risk. In addition, depending upon the nature of the arrangements in place, advice may be required with regard to issues relating to the construction themselves so as to ensure the occupiers are offered protection in the event of the premises not being built to the appropriate standard.
We were jointly instructed by Partnerships for Health and the BMA to write the Official Guide to LIFT on behalf of GPs which was circulated to 30,000 GPs around the UK – and are recognised as being strongly placed to advise GPs on all aspects of surgery developments.
Finding appropriate venues to give the COVID-19 vaccinations has resulted in some creative thinking as to places where this can be done.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors recently published an updated Code for Leasing Business Premises, effective from 1 September 2020, which independent practitioners will need to be aware of when negotiating leases whether as a landlord or as a tenant.
As part of measures to support businesses in these difficult times, the Government has announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.
Welcome to the latest edition of Hempsons’ Dental newsbrief, a round-up of some of the hot legal topics in the dental sector
Welcome to the latest edition of Hempsons' Dental Newsbrief.
Many dental practitioners struggle with the decision of whether to purchase their practice premises or take a lease from a landlord. A well negotiated lease can leave dentists with a greater degree of flexibility when considering retirement or the sale of their practice.
Announcing the opening of our fifth UK office.
If you have identified a need to invest in your surgery premises, whether it be for general improvements, extension plans to accommodate a growing local community or a move into newly built fit-for-purpose premises, the next step is to weigh up the potential funding options available to you.
Recently published NHS England guidance on the new GMS contract (Click here to read guidance), outlines a new blanket ban on GPs advertising and hosting private GP services from within their surgery premises. The changes mark a sea change and are potentially a major threat to a number of existing practice business models.
If you occupy NHS Property Services premises without a lease, you may have received a letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement urging you to engage with the lease regularisation programme.
Practice Premises – maximising value and "minimising" time Maximising "value" is a common objective for most practitioners in one way or another. “Value” can include the value provided to patients. On the other hand, it could be the economic value of the practice and its income stream or the value of the practice 'brand' and the exposure received.
In the past year, Hempsons have acted for a wide range of dental clients on a variety of different transactions. We have acted for sole practitioners retiring and selling their practice, dental corporates buying shares in other dental companies and practitioners starting out on their first venture alone.
What type of surgery lease do you have and what is the extent of your repair liability? You need to know, or you could end up with a bill of destabilising proportions.
A Declaration of Trust is a useful tool for independent practitioners to protect valuable property investments and exposure to unforeseen liabilities.