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900 GP practices receive rent increases

Some 900 GP practices have received rent increases as NHS Property Services has decided to charge market rates for its propeties.

But NHS Property Services and the Government said individual practices would not be affected by the change, since they are reimbursed for rental costs.

The move to market-based rental charging on all freehold properties was agreed with the Department of Health and NHS England, NHS Property Services said.

NHS Property Services said in a statement that the changes were ’consistent with initiatives being introduced more widely across central government to improve utilisation and value for money in property occupancy’.

It added: ’As a result of the changes, many occupiers will see higher rental charges, however others will reduce. However, it is important to note that it is intended that any cost increases are reimbursed and commissioners will receive funding adjustments from NHS England to make this possible.’

Asked in a parliamentary question in December how many GP practices would be affected by the proposed changes, health minister George Freeman said it was ’estimated around 900 general practitioner practices would pay increased rental charges for their premises if NHS Property Services moves to market value rents’.

He added that the costs ’would be reimbursable in the normal way in accordance with the NHS “premises costs” directions’.

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