Ian Hume (GPC Premises Lead) has written to all practices in NHS Property Services about the heads of terms that have been issued recently.
This message can be read below.
Remember, the heads of terms are the starting point to negotiations and do not need to be agreed at the first instance if your practice is not satisfied. NHSPS cannot force practices to sign leases and as longstanding tenants practices have security of tenure regardless of whether or not a lease is in place. If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact us at the LMC for advice.
We are aware that NHS Property Services issued their heads of terms to practices on 31 March 2017. We would like to highlight to practices that these terms are negotiable on an individual basis. The terms sent out are not enforceable, but should be a first step to a negotiation between NHS PS and the practice.
We are aware of ongoing issues that practices are experiencing with NHS PS and we have been meeting with NHS PS to highlight these issues and seek a solution. Our stance is clear, practices should be satisfied that the charges are duly payable and indeed reasonable before payment is made. NHS PS have informed us that some threatening letters were sent out to practices in error in January and February this year, and can be ignored by practices.
If you are looking to proceed with a lease negotiation, it is vital that you understand your liabilities and undertake appropriate due diligence. We are aware that some transitional arrangements are being offered to practices for signing new leases and would stress that practices should enter into any such transitional arrangements only when they are satisfied with the lease conditions, including all the charges.
We will continue to meet with NHS PS so that a robust process is implemented for calculating reasonable service charges that are fair and good value for practices.
GPC Premises lead