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MP withdraws call for GP premises investigation

A Conservative MP has withdrawn his call for a ‘comprehensive investigation’ into the way GP practices are reimbursed for premises costs, after he found the system was working well. 

James Wharton, a Conservative member of the House of Commons Public Accounts Com-mittee (PAC), had accused GPs of ‘fiddling the system’ and said he would ask his committee and the National Audit Office (NAO) to open a ‘full and comprehensive investigation’ into the way notional rent was calculated.

His call came after a newspaper investigation by the Daily Telegraph in July 2011 claimed GPs were ‘pocketing millions’ from the taxpayer, by ‘renting’ surgeries back to the Department of Health for more than the mortgage repayments and then selling the surgeries for profit on retirement. 

But Mr Wharton told Pulse this month that he had withdrawn his call and the PAC was also now satisfied the arrangements were fair. He said: ‘We looked into it and found that though of course there may well be examples of bad value, on the whole the scheme looked like it was working OK.’