Communities set to benefit from new NHS property disposal policy
NHS Property Services (NHSPS), with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHSE/I, has developed a new policy that will see the proceeds of disposals from surplus buildings and properties within its estate shared with local health economies.
Fifty per cent of the net proceeds from property disposals of up to £5 m will now go to local health economies for reinvestment, supporting 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 countrywide to fund priority building improvements.
NHSPS has also committed to applying the reinvestment to property handed back for disposal since 1 April 2020, enabling more schemes and communities to benefit. It says the policy will allow for greater local engagement on potential disposals, as NHSPS regional teams work closely with ICS to develop plans for reinvestment. NHSPS will remain responsible for the overall management and delivery of disposal transactions within its estate.
Martin Steele, NHSPS chief executive, said: “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 12 months have been some of the hardest in the NHS’s 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 says it has worked closely with DHSC and NHSE&I, and its own customers, to ‘meet and surpass’ the targets set within the report – which have included reducing debt, regularising occupancy, and improving local engagement.