NHS trusts are best placed to manage and invest in their property
26 June 2019
- The National Audit Office has released its report on their investigation into NHS Property Services Limited.
- It concludes that NHS Property Services Limited lacks the powers it needs to make its tenants sign lease agreements and pay their rent, which has contributed to increasing levels of outstanding debt.
- Outstanding debt has almost tripled, to £576m.
- Between 2014-15 and 2018-19, the service wrote off £110m of debt.
- The service has met most of its estates management objectives as by March 2019, it had sold 410 excess properties at a value of £347m, and invested £447m in upgrading, maintaining and developing new facilities.
Responding to the National Audit Office (NAO) report following its investigation into NHS Property Services Limited, 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.
This recognises 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.Director of Policy and Strategy
“The government has recently made moves to allow trusts to apply for the transfer of ownership on their estate. This recognises 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.”