A case brought by five GP practices against NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has concluded with a judgement being given in the High Court. The practices, supported by the BMA, had sought to challenge service charges imposed by NHSPS as their landlord.
The judge found that NHSPS was entitled to claim service charges from practices, including in some cases where no written agreement exists between the practice and the landlord. However, the judge also said the five cases should not be viewed as test cases and findings were specific to the circumstances of each practice.
The BMA have noted that NHSPS admitted during the proceedings that their consolidated policy does not automatically change a practice’s occupancy. The judgment says that each practice’s situation has be decided on case-by-case basis so if a practice has a written lease, then that should be starting point for any discussion with NHSPS.
The full judgement can be read here, but we would suggest practices wait for guidance that interprets it. We are expecting the BMA to offer some further advice will share any such guidance that becomes available via our future newsletters.