Paston Surgery is in North Walsham, Norfolk. GP Surveyors achieved a 12% increase above the District Valuer’s offer after we were asked to challenge the current figure on behalf of the Doctors.
Paston Surgery is a 1990s purpose-built surgery with a small extension to the rear, set on a busy road within the small but vibrant market town of North Walsham, in the heart of Norfolk.
Graham Dodd is the Practice Manager and explains; “The increase we received means it is producing a better reimbursement on the premises expenses. In a GMS practice all the “overheads” like rates and water rates that used to be reimbursed pound for pound by the PCT are now part of our funding baseline and that has had no uplift for several years. The effect is that the funding for premises has fallen some way behind the cost of providing them, so an increase in Notional Rent will go some way to covering that.”
“Apart from having to produce a few bits and pieces I haven’t had to do much to gain around £5,000 a year”
James Williams was the assigned Surveyor on this case. He explains; “Initial investigations identified a lack of any professionally represented Current Market Rent (CMR) agreements for surgeries within the entire Norfolk region, suggesting that the District Valuer was using a range of unagreed generic values for all surgery accommodation in Norfolk.”
“The only professionally agreed CMRs tended to be for new build schemes agreed between Developers and the District Valuer. Further investigations unearthed what appear to be very low generic values relative to the newer schemes and when compared with surrounding regions. On this basis, negotiations commenced.”
“Due to a lack of similar comparable evidence within Norfolk, the District Valuer actively resisted reaching an agreement and I had to involve Norfolk PCT in seeking a resolution to the dispute. The PCT were very helpful and became involved in monitoring the situation. Shortly afterwards the District Valuer and I were able to reach agreement without the need to make representations to the NHS Litigation Authority.”
James concludes; “The final value agreed with the District Valuer represents the highest value that we are aware of for this type and age of surgery accommodation within the Norfolk region. Accordingly, this will change the comparable evidence used by the District Valuer and should enable the quicker settlement of all other cases within Norfolk.
“I can’t think why anyone would not want to do it!”
Graham Dodd continues; “I would recommend that other practices should challenge their figure because apart from having to produce a few bits and pieces for our assigned Client Manager Jon, and talk to him, which is no problem, I haven’t had to do much to gain around £5,000 a year for at least the next 3 years (2 years gain net), with the higher rent figure presumably being the start point of further years, so theoretically it’s an on-going gain to the practice. In our case the increase was around 12 per cent.”
Graham concludes; “Although it seems to have taken a while for the case to be concluded it’s been remarkably pain free, and there has been good communication throughout. I can’t think why anyone would not want to do it!”