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GPs stuck with sick building syndrome
It is not an overstatement to say the future health of the NHS is in danger because of the inadequate state of thousands of GP premises. Whether it be taking on work from hospitals, taking over commissioning or taking up enhanced services, GPs and their staff are being asked to offer ever more from their practices.
Yet many GPs don't even have a consulting room of their own. Or if they do, it barely has enough space to swing a stethoscope, never mind perform minor surgery.
As for the practice nurse, she may be housed in a prefabricated shed in the car park.
And what can these GPs do about it; to become the 'entrepreneurial' doctors John Reid says he wants more of? Nothing. They are trapped because there is no money whatsoever to help them extend or move.
The next government needs to end the chronic under-investment in GPs' premises, or else this case of sick building syndrome will debilitate the NHS for years to come.