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General Practitioners: Standards

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of general practitioners' premises were above minimum standards on the most recent date for which figures are available in (a) England and (b) each primary care trust area; and what percentage in each primary care trust area failed to meet minimum standards through not complying with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. (164595)

Details of the minimum standards for general practitioner (GP) practice premises are set out in Schedule 1 of The National Health Service (General Medical Services—Premises Costs) (England) Directions 2004, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. Compliance with these standards is a matter for local primary care trusts (PCT) and each make their own arrangements for undertaking this assessment.

The most recent relevant data collected centrally comprised a snapshot return as at 31 March 2005 which was provided by PCTs. It has not been collected centrally since then. A copy was placed in the Library on 12 May 2006. The data are now almost three years out of date and do not reflect the investment in primary care premises that has taken place in the intervening period.

New premises that fully satisfy minimum standards are being provided under the NHS Local Finance Investment Trust (NHS LIFT) initiative. Some £1.3 billion in private sector capital has already been injected into GP premises and community facilities across the country with 45 NHS LIFT schemes established and another three in procurement. This has, to date, delivered 149 new buildings open to patients with another 61 under construction.

The NHS ProCure21 initiative has also provided premises that fully satisfy minimum standards. Over £221 million has already been invested in 49 GP and community facilities across England. Of that amount, 28 projects with a value of £98 million have been completed and 21 projects with a value of £123 million are currently in the early stages of development.