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New NHS property disposal policy set to benefit communities

NHS Property Services (NHSPS), alongside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England & Improvement (NHSE&I) have developed a new policy that will see proceeds of disposals from surplus buildings and properties within the NHSPS estate shared with local health economies.

Through this policy, 50 per cent of the net proceeds from property disposals of up to £5 million will now go to local health economies for reinvestment. These proceeds will support the development of key schemes within the NHSPS estate, at the Integrated Care Systems (ICS) level. The other 50 per cent will continue to be pooled nationally and reinvested across the country to fund priority building improvements.

As part of this announcement, NHSPS has also committed to applying the reinvestment to property that was handed back for disposal since 1 April 2020, enabling more schemes and communities across the country to benefit.

The policy will allow for greater local engagement on potential disposals, as NHSPS’ regional teams work closely with ICS to develop plans for reinvestment, meeting the healthcare needs of local patients and wider communities. NHSPS will remain responsible for the overall management and delivery of disposal transactions within its estate.

Martin Steele, chief executive of NHSPS said: “This new policy is a significant announcement and will benefit the way in which we serve customers and patient communities. Ensuring healthcare economies across the country can reinvest proceeds in important local schemes is an affordable approach within existing capital budgets and will support the NHS in meeting its objectives set out in the Long Term Plan. The past twelve months have been some of the hardest in the NHS’ history, and by backdating this new policy we hope to provide even more benefit to the healthcare system and support the optimisation of the estate post-Covid.”

The implementation of this new disposal policy was a key deliverable in response to the 2019 Public Account Committee’s (PAC) review and report. NHSPS has worked closely with DHSC and NHSE&I, as well as its own customers, to meet and surpass the targets set within the report, which have included reducing debt, regularising occupancy and improving local engagement.

Proceeds from disposals within this new policy will support schemes such as refurbishments, extensions and new development to support primary care and Primary Care Network capacity, as well as the integration of community services.

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