NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has said that a new raft of estate improvements will give its GP practice tenants various benefits, including additional capacity.
Over the next three years, NHSPS will deliver more than 100 ‘transformational’ projects of ‘essential improvements’ to its healthcare estate, it announced.
Existing facilities will be improved, such as the moving of two Clacton practices to refurbished premises with eight consulting rooms, seven treatment rooms, a phlebotomy room and a ‘digital facility’, it said.
Clacton’s Epping Close Surgery and Holland-on-Sea’s Frinton Road Medical Centre will move to Kennedy House in Clacton, expanding their capacity from a current combined list of ‘almost 9,000 patients’ to 12,000, according to NHSPS.
Projects will also include the building of new ‘healthcare centres’, such as a new hospital in Hythe and Dibden, the disposal of vacant NHS space and the creation of ‘green prescribing sites’, it added.
These sites will ‘deliver on the NHS long-term plan’ by providing patients with a ‘holistic’ approach to their health and wellbeing and address ‘rising need for mental health services as a result of Covid’, NHSPS said.
A spokesperson told Pulse that the majority of projects within the programme will benefit GPs and primary care, for example by creating additional capacity through new or improved estate, social prescribing sites and more integrated services in the community.
The improvements will benefit around 1.2m patients across England, with 100,000 square metres of estate to be refurbished and repurposed and the disposal of unused space saving up to £150m for reinvestment into ‘frontline patient care’, NHSPS said.
This will ensure ‘high-quality, sustainable healthcare settings that are fit for purpose’, it added.
NHSPS – which manages 10% of the NHS estate – added that it is ‘working closely’ with its customers to ‘solve local healthcare problems and support the delivery of STP plans’.
NHSPS head of portfolio optimisation Simon Taylor said: ‘At a time when the NHS is facing challenges never seen before, these projects will be integral in helping to support the health service moving forwards.
‘By using the estate more efficiently, over the coming years we can provide better quality spaces for the provision of healthcare, which will improve patients’ experience, as well as create better environments for healthcare professionals to deliver care.’
It comes as NHSPS will increase service charges for GP practices in England to meet Covid-related costs after NHS England stopped providing funding.
Meanwhile, practices were last month given a boost after NHSPS ‘conceded’ that its national charging policy – which attempted to apply uniform high service charges – was not contractual.