With Christmas fast approaching, many of us are looking beyond this to our New Years’ resolutions. However, if you’re fed up with the usual choices of losing weight, quitting smoking or eating more healthily etc, then why not turn your thoughts to your GP practice premises instead?
However successful a practice is, there are always areas where things can be made more effective and efficient. The real challenge is highlighting these areas and taking action.
Need some inspiration?
Based on our conversations with GP practices nationwide, there are a number of common premises issues where surgeries are hoping to improve or change throughout 2015.
Here’s a brief run down:
1) Make sure you are receiving all the income that you’re entitled to
Analyse the income that you receive from your premises: e.g. reimbursement of rent and business rates; and rent, service charges and utilities from companies that lease space from you (e.g. a pharmacy or dentist). Ask a specialist to review these figures for you and negotiate increases wherever appropriate. To give you an idea of the importance of this, our clients receive average Notional Rent increases of 8% which amounts to an average of £11,208 over the 3 year Notional Rent period. Moreover, we negotiate average pharmacy rent increases of 45%! This is a great way to boost your annual income.
2) Get on top of things for the CQC
Here at GP Surveyors, we are now receiving an increasing number of enquiries from GPs about asbestos, legionella and fire risk assessments with a view to getting their paperwork in order prior to a CQC inspection. However, in addition to the CQC, many surgeries are surprised to know that there are statutory standards that they must comply with by law in relation to these areas.
3) Broaden your services
Consider taking on more secondary care services to provide a more complete offer to your patients. This can also help to boost your income from the rent, service charges and utilities that they will pay you – BUT only if managed correctly. Remember that you will lose your rent reimbursement for any space that the secondary care service uses. Therefore, make sure you seek advice from a specialist surveyor prior to signing on the dotted line. Your surveyor will help to calculate whether you stand to benefit financially and, if so, they will draw up a solid lease on your behalf.
4) Ease your recruitment problems or plan for retirement by considering sale and leaseback
Issues with recruitment and retirement are increasingly causing GP practices to consider sale and leaseback as the answer. Surgeries that have opted for this solution find that the practice is more accessible to newly qualified GPs because new partners no longer need to raise the finance to buy into the partnership. Moreover, retiring GPs don’t have the hassle of selling their share in the partnership and some of the risks associated with owning premises are reduced.
Read our Blog posts for more information:
5) Become a ‘one stop shop’ by adding a pharmacy to your practice
Installing a pharmacy into your premises not only improves patient experience – it also boosts your income and increases the market value of your practice (the price that it would sell for on the open market).
A pharmacy doesn’t need a large amount of floor space and pharmacy companies will often be willing to foot the bill for any amendments required to your practice and some will even offer you a high premium. However, just be careful that this isn’t in exchange for a lower rent. Your surveyor will be able to advise you.
For more information, please take a look at our case study:
6) Plan now for potential premises refurbishments, extensions or developments
George Osborne recently pledged £1.2 billion for primary care infrastructure in his final autumn statement and Simon Stevens, CEO at NHS England, revealed that “shovel-ready” GP premises development bids will be prioritised for funding in 2015/16. This is positive news after a severe funding draught and a freeze on developments.
Even though these announcements imply that only existing applications will be considered, taking steps to plan out how your surgery will cope with increasing demand over the coming years can only be a good thing. You should always consider how your plans will contribute towards the plans of NHS England and your CCG if you wish to source funding. Some practices are thinking about mergers as a way to avoid large property development schemes or to create joint bids for development funding with more clout. Don’t go it alone as this can be a very daunting prospect. Speak to your property surveyor, your accountant and solicitor for advice.
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For advice, help and support with any GP surgery premises issues please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 281 5850 or email email@example.com.