Family doctors set to reject proposed new Doncaster health centres

Doncaster’s family doctors are unlikely to back efforts to fill modern NHS buildings – because of the costs.  

Dr Dean Eggitt, a Doncaster GP and the chief executive of the Doncaster Local Medical Committee, which represents GPs across the borough, says proposals to fill empty buildings drawn up under Primary Care Estates Strategy are likely to be rejected by GPs.

Dr Dean Eggitt at his surgery in Doncaster

Dr Dean Eggitt at his surgery in Doncaster

He is warning that GPs struggle to afford to use the new health centre which were build using public private partnership schemes because of add on service charges which are levied on top the the rent.

The rent is paid for by the NHS – but the practices have to find money for services like cleaners and gardeners, which are tied to the sites, along with supplies of items such as toilet rolls.

Dr Eggitt said: “With the buildings that were built under public private partnership for the NHS, the costs of those extra services are usually much higher that the amounts that GPs in other buildings would be spending.

“We have spoken to the Clinical Commissioning Group asking for this to change. But we feel moving to LIFT buildings means taking resources away from patients because of what we have to spend on things like toilet rolls.

“In addition, there is usually a long lease. The NHS has to pay for all the rooms even if they are empty.

“We would be cautious about using any new buildings with those sort of costs.

“We need new building space for patients, but that has to be balanced with affordability. The last thing we need is GPs gong bankrupt and not being able to find people to take over.”

NHS bosses are considering locations in Bentley, Mexborough and Rossington as possible sites to build new facilities as it looks to find the best way to house its GP services under plans to work more closely with other health services.

They are also looking to significantly increase the use of multi-million pound buildings which were built around 10 years ago under the Government’s public-private LIFT funding programme, with some operating while as little as 35 per cent full.

The proposals were raised in the Primary Care Estates Strategy, published earlier this month. It is looking how buildings can be best used because health authorities are looking to co-locate NHS and council health services.
Read more: Three possible new health centres could be built under plans to revamp Doncaster's family health buildings