To ask Her Majesty's Government what systems are in place to ensure that NHS bodies declare land and buildings surplus to requirements; how those declarations are audited for accuracy and completeness; and how land and buildings declared surplus are disposed of within a reasonable period. [HL4962]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which NHS hospital trusts (including foundation trusts) and primary care trusts have declared land and buildings surplus to requirements; and which of those trusts have had those resources surplus to requirements for five years or more. [HL4963]
National Health Service trusts are responsible for the management and disposal of land and buildings in their ownership. The department does not collect information centrally on what land and buildings have been declared surplus to requirements, neither does the department audit for accuracy or completeness nor how long such property has been declared surplus by NHS bodies.
Guidance for NHS organisations on all land and property transactions, including the disposal of surplus land or buildings, is contained in the Health Building Note 00-08: Estatecode, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
NHS foundation trusts are authorised and regulated by Monitor, the independent regulator, which does not require the reporting of surplus assets. NHS foundation trusts are restricted in their ability to dispose of assets required for the provision of services, but under their authorisation they must also be managed in an effective, efficient and economic fashion, including the effective use of their land and buildings.