• Sidmouth GPs infuriated at NHS Property Services misrepresentation to health watchdog councillors

    10th November 2016 | News | Claire
  • He said:  “I don’t know who they get their information from but it is wrong and should be made clear to the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee – they are trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

    “There is no agreement with the practice about rent and service costs.  We met with NHPS about 1 month ago – the most senior manager for facilities management came to meet us and was clueless about why the costs we were being charged were so high.  They confirmed costs for 2015-2016 to continue on our previous arrangement but since the meeing nothing in writing has come out.  Nothing is agreed for this financial year 2016-2017 or moving forward.

    “The only option for a redevelopment that is on the table is one we can not afford to enter a lease into as it sees non re-imbursable costs to the practice rise considerably and we have no control over rising costs.

    “Lets be clear their redevelopment of the site is aimed at making as much profit as possible.  Car parking is reducing considerably and we have seen no plans in writing which protect future expansion interests to the practice.

    “Their plans are so unfavourable we are having to look at our options to relocate the surgery to a less convenient site.”

    I raised the issue at the end of the meeting to put members straight.  But it is deeply worrying that NHS PS is putting out such briefings that are clearly wildly wrong and misleading.

    NHS PS now owns 12 Eastern Devon community hospitals and many of us are on high alert awaiting news of the rents, which if Sidmouth’s case is anything to go by, could suddenly be hiked beyond affordability at any time.  NHS PS claims it is part of the “NHS family” yet it behaves like an amoral profit-making corporation, with apparently no accountability to patients who fund its existence and rely on its ability to treat its tenants fairly.

    For MONTHS now I have been chasing the company, which is wholly owned by the secretary of state for health, on how much income it takes compared with how much it spends on maintenance.  They clearly don’t want to provide this information. I first asked for it in JUNE. And have asked several times since.

    From the little dealings I have had with NHS PS, I don’t trust them one inch and I am disgusted with a government that created this very system.

    Hugo Swire labelled me a scaremongerer in May for my concerns about NHS PS. He refused to take up the matter of the transfer of our local hospitals, with health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

    I wonder if he still has as much confidence in the company as he did in May?