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How Does the BMA's Updated Guidance Impact You?

on Wednesday, 12 February 2020.

On 6 February 2020 the BMA published an update to the 2020/21- 2023/24 GP contract negotiations.*

This included some guidance on what we can expect from the long overdue new Premises Costs Directions (as yet, unpublished) and a brief summary of the approach to be taken for PCN premises issues. We have summarised the key themes below.

Premises Costs Directions

The BMA indicate that changes to the Premises Costs Directions have been agreed which should now allow commissioners to make larger and more flexible investments in GP practices. It should also provide GPs with more reassurance about their premises liabilities.

Some of the changes the BMA have said they have secured include:

  • commissioners can now give out improvement grants which cover 100% of the project value
  • an increase in grant values
  • a reduction in the abatement of notional rent and guaranteed use periods
  • increased support of 'last partner standing' - those partners who want to retire, but cannot find a successor from within the practice (details not provided)
  • commissioners will reimburse GPs for Stamp Duty Land Tax and VAT on rent payments
  • GPs will no longer be required to undertake their own valuation at rent reviews and rent reviews will no longer result in the varying of lease terms
  • more formal arrangements for third part contractors use of premises to protect contractors and reimburse legal costs

Please see page 58 of the report in full for more details of the benefits included*.

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Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

The BMA have also indicated that PCNs are to be encouraged to work with their community provider partners:

  • to find short term premises solutions for the additional staff required for PCNs
  • to develop a joint vision of fit-for-purpose future estate
  • to make best use of any new capital funding available to support the PCN model
  • please see plage 17 of the report for more details*

Summary

The BMA negotiations promise some positive changes however, we await with great anticipation the publication of the new Premises Cost Directions to determine the actual extent of the changes secured - the date of publication remains unknown.

*BMA update to the GP Contract agreement 2020/21 - 2023/24 - 6 February 2020.

If you have any queries relating to your premises, please contact Rebecca Beardsley from our Commercial Property team on 0117 314 5325, or complete the form below.

 

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