The time has come to take a fresh look at GP premises throughout England. That is the view of Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, an executive committee member on the General Practitioners Committee.
Dr Kasaraneni made the claim in the wake of a Government promise of £1 billion to upgrade infrastructure and facilities, assurances that have hit a brick wall, with the funds yet to reach GPs.
Research has shown that 75 per cent of GPs would prefer to be based in primary care premises, alongside other community-based workers. Dr Kasaraneni has pointed to this as proof that greater investment is needed in GP surgeries to ensure they are viable for use in the 21st century. He also said that investment was a “tangible solution” to the strains currently facing the NHS.
With general practice not a commercial venture that can cover costs by charging patients, the doctor called on NHS England to come to a decision on what constitutes investment and value for money. He stated that properly equipped and usable premises that serve patients and the community should be a priority and the overall aim of any investment in GP premises.
The barriers that prevented GPs from developing their premises were in dire need of removal and investment should concentrate on surgeries and not creating additional bureaucracy.
Dr Kasaraneni went on to say: “We cannot accept the current situation where GPs face personal bankruptcy due to their premises liabilities. No individual GP should be left to deal with the liabilities of GP premises in such a difficult climate.
“It is for the above reasons that we are calling for a wide-ranging review of GP premises to run alongside the review of GP indemnity, the quantity and outcomes framework (QOF) review and the partnership model review to make sure that we secure the future of general practice.”
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