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‘One Stop Shop’ attitude could be detrimental to GPs


27 November 2014

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Providing both primary and secondary care services could have a detrimental impact on practices, experts have warned.

GP surgeries across the UK are increasingly encouraged to become a ‘one stop shop’ for the health needs of the community by providing a diverse range of services under one roof.

Paul Conlan, managing surveyor at GP Surveyors believes that this will be “problematic” to the future of GP surgeries.

Providing both primary and secondary care services could have a detrimental impact on practices, experts have warned.

GP surgeries across the UK are increasingly encouraged to become a ‘one stop shop’ for the health needs of the community by providing a diverse range of services under one roof.

Paul Conlan, managing surveyor at GP Surveyors believes that this will be “problematic” to the future of GP surgeries.

He said: “NHS England are only responsible for paying approved recurring premises costs for space that is specifically used for providing contracted services. Therefore, when a GP practice provides space to secondary care services, they lose their NHS England reimbursement for this space.”

He highlighted how difficult providing secondary services will make it to budget for the future.  He said “Surgeries will often be paid a fixed amount per procedure e.g. an osteoporosis scan. Therefore, the more scans a surgery carries out, the more income they will achieve from offering this service.

“It can be problematic for practices to estimate the number of procedures that they will undertake annually and hence the level of income that they will receive from providing this service. Therefore, comparing the estimated income against the expected loss in reimbursement from NHS England can be difficult.”

Conlan advises practice managers to carefully consider how the rooms in their practices are being used in order to avoid a dramatic drop in the level of finance being received from NHS England.

“Where a room is exclusively used for non-GMS / PMS purposes it will be removed from reimbursement altogether. Where a room is used 50% of the time for a non-GMS / PMS purpose, the practice can reasonably contend that a 50% reduction in rental reimbursement on this room (and a proportionate adjustment to rates and utilities) is reasonable,” he said.

Detailed negotiations are often required with between GP surgeries, NHS England and the District Valuer to ensure that an affordable level of reimbursement is maintained.

Although this can be difficult for practices Conlan believes that “surgeries should always seek professional advice to ensure they are receiving a fair and reasonable income”. 

 
 

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