GP battles elements on tough TV show
Health secretary John Reid is to announce a multi-million pound boost for GP premises this week.
PCTs are expected to be given an extra £100 million to spend on all primary care premises, including GP surgeries. The cash will cover revenue and capital funding and may include added incentives for GPs in inner-city areas.
The decision to increase investment marks a dramatic
U-turn by the Department of Health after officials ruled out any extra cash earlier this year.
It comes after vehement GP criticism of the Government for giving PCTs less than £50,000 each for new premises projects this year.
GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said he needed to be assured the money was new and it had to be recurrent funding.
He said: 'I'm an old cynic and need convincing that this is not recycled, relabelled money. If it is just a one-off payment then that is going to go nowhere.
'If it is recurrent funding then £100 million can go along way.'
NHS Alliance chair Dr Mike Dixon said any new money was welcome, but he believed it would be tied to private finance schemes.
He said: 'Realistically this will be through PFI. In the future GPs will not own their premises, they will be leasers.'
GMS contract lead at the alliance, Dr David Jenner, said PCTs particularly needed extra money to cover revenue costs, including cost rent.