Intended for healthcare professionals


GP services in Lothian risk collapse amid “ruinous” rise in premises charges

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: (Published 17 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q886
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

Family doctors in Scotland’s second largest health board are drawing up plans to cut their services after being hit with staggering increases in service charges for the buildings they occupy. Some practices are even considering handing their contracts back to NHS Lothian, as they fear that the new charges will make it impossible to remain financially viable.

The health board is seeking to recover the full cost of supplying services to practices that lease their buildings from the NHS, amounting to £1.8m in total. A review found wide variation in what practices were paying for their heating and lighting, cleaning, and general maintenance. It found that some practices in the oldest buildings were paying nothing at all, others were being …

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