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Nearly three quarters (72.8%) of GPs who responded to a Pulse PCN survey do not have the space to house their additional roles staff.
The poll of nearly 200 GPs including PCN clinical directors showed that around half (46.2%) strongly agreed and 26.5% agreed that estates were an immediate issue for their practice.
It comes as health secretary Steve Barclay is expected to publish a ‘primary care recovery plan’ in the coming weeks that would reportedly include investment in estates.
One respondent told Pulse PCN that GP estates are currently ‘totally inadequate’, suggesting that funding from the Network DES should be streamed through the core GP contract leaving GPs able to spend it at their discretion – including on premises.
Others said that the lack of space on site to base their ARRS staff – which can include pharmacists or social prescribers – prevented them from making the most of the additional roles.
The total cost of running the NHS estate between April 2021 and March 2022 stood at £11.1 billion, according to NHS Digital, with the total cost to eradicate the backlog reaching £10.2 billion.
And around 5,348 clinical service incidents were caused by estates or infrastructure failure in 2021/22.
In a 2022 report, the NHS Confederation warned that the Government must provide quicker access to capital funding if integrated care systems (ICSs) are to successfully tackle health inequalities, as per their brief.
In Pulse PCN’s spring issue, Dr Richard Vautrey, former chair of the BMA GP Committee, said that investment in GP premises to fully support and utilise the PCN workforce hired via ARRS.
The survey was conducted from 12 February to 5 March.