The troubled NHS Property Services is to face court action from GPs over its efforts to increase charges for practice buildings.
Some practices have seen charges more than double over the last three years even though they do not have tenancy agreements, the British Medical Association said, condemning the increases as “unjustifiable.” Sometimes they are receiving bills for services they do not receive, the BMA said. One practice received an invoice for a lift that did not exist.
NHS Property Services was recently condemned in a Parliamentary report, which said it was set up to fail and had failed to agree leases with many of its tenants – or to collect the rents it claimed it was owed.
The BMA said it would act on behalf of five practices that have been subject to “unjust” increases in service charges and fees. The action was reported to a conference of English local medical committees in London.
BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: “It’s not acceptable that practices in NHS Property Services premises are left to pick up the cost of an unjustifiable hike in charges. As such, we will very shortly be lodging a legal test claim in court which, if successful, would provide a template for GP practices to defend unlawful claims for service charges by NHSPS. We must and we will stand up for GPs and take legal action when it’s necessary to defend our profession.”