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NHS England U-turns on docking rent reimbursements for GPs housing community nurses

NHS England has been forced to U-turn on its decision to dock rent reimbursements for allowing nurses and midwives to use rooms in GP practices.

This comes after Pulse revealed practices across the region were losing in excess of £2,000 from their annual rent reimbursements because of the penny-pinching application of ‘alternative use’ regulations for GP premises.

NHS England’s West Midlands regional team wrote to practices last week saying it had ‘reviewed its process [for the] abatement of rent for GP practices’ after a number of concerns were raised.

Birmingham LMC executive secretary Dr Robert Morley said he was ‘delighted’ that the backlash from GPs, the LMC and CCGs had forced NHS England into a U-turn.

Dr Morley, who is also the BMA GP’s Committee practice finance lead, had previously told Pulse it was ‘alarming’ that the rules were being used this way, espiecially in light of the GP Forward View emphasis on collaboration between GPs and community health professionals.

The letter to practices said that NHS England (West Midlands) ‘will not abate’ for ‘clinical services which are supporting the provision of GMS services, provided they are NHS services (commissioned by the CCG) and the provider does not already have a tariff included in the contract for infrastructure’.

Where a room is let to an entirely administrative function or a private provider abatement will still take place, NHS England added, although charities can be offered space with CCG permission.

Dr Morley said: ‘A number of practices have contacted the LMC because NHS England had commenced wholly inappropriately abating notional rent/rent reimbursement from practices which have historically provided rooms, free of charge, for district nurses, midwives and others to support your provision of GP services.

‘I am delighted to say that following LMC and CCG pressure on this issue NHS England has had to do a U–turn and revised its policy; details are as in the letter attached.’