Expert panel to debate pressing issues facing the primary care estate as government announces multi-billion pound boost for GP services
The future of the UK’s primary care estate will be put under the spotlight at a conference later this month.
The event, organised by Henry Stewart Conference Studies, follows the announcement, in the Chancellor’s autumn budget statement, of a £1.2billion cash injection to enhance GP services and upgrade and replace primary care buildings across the country.
On the one hand primary care property is an increasingly-important sector for investment and, on the other, a vital element in the provision of healthcare to the public
Following the news, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, was reported as saying: “I want us to begin to make more progress on premises infrastructure.”
However, he also said in the same interview that ‘nobody can wave a magic wand, and it will take a number of years to invest in general practice infrastructure’.
This month’s conference – entitled Latest Developments in Primary Healthcare Property – will be held at Le Meridien Piccadilly, on 29 January and will feature 17 speakers and panellists, who will be discussing pressing issues facing the primary care estate, including lease terms, investment, finance, development, design, regulation and government policy, as well as tax and the building-pension-partnership interplay.
Experts offering advice will include Lynne Abbess, head of the professional services group, Hempsons, and joint chairman of the Primary Care Premises Forum. She said: “There is an abundance of private sector funding available within this important property sector, ready to be taken up by active investors/developers and owner occupiers who are keen to develop new premises.
“The challenge for the NHS is to make available the necessary revenue that would secure the release of that capital to enable the changes the NHS seeks to be delivered.”
Conference chairman, Paul Stacey, managing director of The Healthcare Property Company, added: “At this conference we will be doing our best to cover the current, and perceived, future issues affecting development in primary care so that all participants in this sector can make decisions that best suit their needs.”
The challenge for the NHS is to make available the necessary revenue that would secure the release of that capital to enable the changes the NHS seeks to be delivered
Property is the most-expensive piece of ‘equipment’ that GPs use in the practice, and what it costs to own or rent can greatly affect partners’ income. But, like other ‘equipment’ real estate must be fit for purpose and, in healthcare, the purposes change – and sometimes very rapidly.
“Primary healthcare is in a time of rapid change and buildings are not changed easily or quickly,” says Adam Thompson, director of Primary Care Surveyors, who will be speaking about infrastructure and development options in the future at the event.
Patricia Connelly, chief executive of Henry Stewart Conference Studies, promoters of the event, adds: “On the one hand primary care property is an increasingly-important sector for investment and, on the other, a vital element in the provision of healthcare to the public. There is a great deal happening that can affect demand, values, security of income and the costs of occupation. All these issues will be covered at this briefing.”
For more information on the event, click here.