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26.06.19

NHS Property responds to NAO report on debt recovery

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) have responded to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) criticising their ability to collect outstanding debts, saying the current system is “not working effectively.”

The report highlights the increasing level of debt NHSPS has accrued due to the organisation’s difficulty recovering unpaid bills.

Ian Ellis, chair of NHS Property Services, said:

“We welcome the NAO’s independent assessment of the progress NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has made in fulfilling its remit to support the NHS estate, so that healthcare professionals can deliver excellent patient care in safe and well-maintained facilities.

“It also highlights how NHSPS has used its property expertise to invest £447 million upgrading, maintaining and developing new NHS facilities, and in addition selling 410 surplus properties and raising £347m by March 2019.

“The report comments on some of the legacy issues NHSPS has inherited from operating in the widespread absence of formal rental and service agreements and the significant impact this has had on the company’s ability to agree charges with customers and recover outstanding debts.

“We fully acknowledge that whilst improvements have been made, these have been at a slower pace than we wanted but support is also required from the broader health system to fully address this.”

(Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/PA Images)

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