Practices risk losing their premises funding due to NHS England’s delays, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).
A survey of 200 practices found that one in five risk losing their Primary Care Transformation funding. This is due to delays that will push them over the March 2016 completion deadline.
The bids have received ‘approval in principle’ but 54% of practices say they had experienced delays of more than six months.
Commenting on the findings, GP Committee lead on premises Brian Balmer said: “These results paint a depressing picture of a faltering programme of investment in GP practices which has so far failed to deliver the improvements promised by Government.”
NHS England announced the creation of the Primary Care Transformation (formerly Infrastructure) Fund in December 2014, a £1 billion fund for GP infrastructure and IT. Of this, £250 million will be invested in GP premises every year for the next four years.
So far 1,000 practices have had their applications approved in principal by the fund.
In the BMA’s survey, more than a third (37%) of bids accepted were for an extension to their premises, another third (31%) were to improve the existing building, and 18% were to build new buildings.
Balmer continued: “The Government announced the extra investment in GP facilities with a lot of fanfare, but on the ground many GPs are beginning to doubt these supposed improvements will ever be delivered.”
He called on ministers to “get a grip on the project and deliver what they have promised”.