The reforms introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 were particularly relevant to GP premises in England.
Before the act came into effect, things were (relatively) straightforward. PCTs were responsible for commissioning GP services and for the reimbursement of GP premises costs. They owned thousands of GP surgeries and health centres occupied by GPs and were head tenant at all LIFT (Local Improvement Financial Trust) buildings.
In other words, PCTs were landlords, commissioners and funders of GP premises costs. So, GPs in occupation of PCT buildings only ever had to deal with their local PCTs in respect of surgery premises issues.
On 1 April 2013, all of that changed.
Ownership of the old PCT estate was transferred in several different directions. Some of the properties were transferred to local trusts. All the old PCT head tenancies in LIFT properties were transferred to Community Health Partnerships Limited. The remainder of the PCT estate was transferred to a new company, NHS Property Services Limited.
Responsibility for the commissioning of GP services was transferred to NHS England. NHS England also assumed responsibility for the funding of GP premises costs.
If all those changes have left you wondering who you should be speaking to in connection with premises issues today, you may find this short guide to the current role of NHS organisations in GP premises helpful.
If you are a CHP or NHS property services tenant and need advice, please David Massey in the LMC office 01772 863806.