New primary care Premises Costs Directions come into force

From today (10 May 2024) the new Premises Costs Directions 2024 come into force replacing the 2013 Premises Costs Directions (PCDs). GPs can now apply for grant funding of up to 100% of the project value. To date there has been a long-standing restriction on commissioner contribution to primary care premises improvement schemes.

This follows the General Practice Premises Policy Review in 2019 which called for simplification of PCDs recognising issues around general practice premises and wider primary care estate.

Key points

Premises development and improvement grants

The new PCDs cover:

  • New builds
  • Purchase of land/premises
  • Development
  • Sale and lease back of premises
  • Premises improvements and now covers:
    • The building of an extension to the premises
    • The fit out works to those premises which the contractor is a tenant or a party to an agreement to become a tenant after their construction

Integrated Care Boards can now award GP grant funding of up to 100% of project value.

There are still high preconditions attaching to funding, including PIDs, minimum use, conditions placed in build contracts and the need for security of tenure in leased premises.

There is still no commitment towards service charge costs.

The new PCDs allow for the possibility of leases being assigned to a nominee of NHS England in the event of a practice handing back its General Medical Services contract but is unable to find a successor to take over the practice/lease. A protocol will need to be developed to support this change.

A significant change is the ability for NHS England to claw back overpayments, which does not appear to be time limited. NHS England can waive repayments and will be required to consider repayment plans but even so these overpayments may relate to years ago (and former partners!).

You can read the National Health Service (General Medical Services - Premises Costs) Directions 2024 here

With the publication of the new PCDs, GP practices and Integrated Care Boards will need to understand how the directions will impact on any NHS England payments made or received and whether they need to make any changes.

Do contact me or Rob Day for support on your primary care premises plans. We're both experts in primary care premises policy and requirements and well placed to support commissioners and GP practices understand what the new PCDs mean.

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Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

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