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27.06.19

NHS Providers call for reform of property services after NAO report

NHS Providers, the membership organisation for frontline NHS services, has called for an overhaul in the health service’s management of property.

The association recommends handing over control of property to NHS trusts themselves, who they claim “best placed to manage their property.”

It follows a report from the National Audit Office which revealed debt at NHS Property has tripled in the past four years and the organisation lacks the power to recover unpaid bills.

The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“While this report acknowledges that NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has made improvements, it faces a number of challenges and is not seen to run effectively.

“The government has recently made moves to allow trusts to apply for the transfer of ownership on their estate.

“This recognises that the fact that trusts themselves are best placed to manage their property, and set out the level of investment they need to make to modernise buildings and facilities in order to support the delivery of the long-term plan.

“But this alone will not solve the wider problems trusts face in accessing sufficient capital funding.

"We agree with the NAO that it is important for the Department of Health and Social Care to complete its strategic review of NHSPS as quickly as possible to help inform the upcoming Spending Review.”

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