Around 1,000 practices took part in the survey in late 2018.
- Only half of practices considered their premises to be fit for present needs.
- This number falls to just over 2 in 10 practices when asked if they thought their premises was fit for the future (population growth).
- The last significant modification or extension to premises took place in 2005, on average, pre-dating many of the increases in patient demand over the last decade.
- Following successful application, some practices reported waiting as little as one month to receive improvement grant funding while others up to around one year.
- 57% of premises are owner by premises, 7 in 10 are purpose-built.
Fit for purpose
- When asked what would make premises more suitable most practices noted that more space is needed, including by extending the premises, more consulting rooms, improving access for disabled patients, expanded and improved reception areas.
- Some practices mentioned the need for new premises and relocation.
- Despite these issues, around 7 in 10 practices say they could make room to train future GPs.
- The results show that GP premises were on average 35 years old.
- Around 4 in 10 practices had applied for funding from NHS England since 2015 (and approximately half of these were successful).
- The most popular premises improvements practices would carry out if they had the funds were build an extension (50%) and improve lighting, ventilation or heating (48%).
- 36% of respondents reported that the source of funding for premises improvements was from the NHS. Meanwhile the next biggest percentage - 28% of respondents - noted that improvements were self-funded.
- While some practices reported waiting as little as a couple of weeks to receive information about the status of their grant application others note they had been waiting more than two to three years with the process ongoing. Most reported waiting in the region of three to six months.
- Eight in 10 practices leasing from an NHS organisation said they had been invoiced with charges that were inaccurate in the last 12 months, with only 5% reporting these issues had been resolved.
- 68% of respondents noted that their practice holds a formal lease for their premises. On average their current lease has 12 years remaining.
- Asked whether there is an assignment clause in the lease, 75% of practices responded that they don’t know.
Primary care networks
- Around seven in 10 practices had joined in a collaboration but less than 2% said working at scale had reduced their need for premises improvements.
- Around 60% of practices reported that they did not have plans in place to formally merge with other practices.