Two in five general practice staff consider their premises not fit for purpose

Insufficient space for professional development and training are just two of the issues GPs are battling, caused by working from outdated premises.

A report from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), received the views of 2,649 general practice staff.

Fit for the Future, which aims to help reshape GP infrastructure in England, found that two in five staff members consider their premises not fit for purposes. The most common reasons behind these results included; 

  • Insufficient consulting rooms (88%) 
  • Insufficient space to take on additional GP trainees (75%)  
  • Insufficient space for training GPs or professional development (66%).   

Many of the respondents provided feedback on the suitability of the premises, stating that the old buildings are in poor condition with inadequate equipment and structural problems, including leaking roofs and windows.  

Three in four staff said that their requested funding was unsuccessful

The RCGP reports: ‘We have consistently heard from our members that there have been barriers to accessing funding for estates and technology.

‘For instance, almost 40% of respondents of the 2018 RCGP tracking survey worked in practices that were unsuccessful with their application for ETTF funds to improve their premises. While the ETTF no longer exists, our 2022 survey found that the success rate in receiving such funding has declined significantly, with practices facing challenges such as a shortage of available funds and complex eligibility criteria or application processes.’

The RCGP goes on to recommend that the government should provide the resources to the ICSs in order for them to work with the general practices to develop and implement an infrastructure plan, including the investment to upgrade GP buildings and develop community health hubs – providing sufficient space and better conditions to accommodate patients.

The growing need for immediate building solutions

Tony Nagra, Partnerships Director at Darwin Group said: “It’s no secret that the health service continues to struggle with performance priorities, within both the secondary and primary care settings.

“However, it is recognised that providing better access to care within communities will help towards the prevention of health inequalities, plus patient and health service costs. It can also support the release of pressures felt within hospitals and emergency services.

“Darwin Group stands ready to support our General Practice colleagues across any estate emergency with the largest capacity for flexible, temporary, and permanent building solutions for immediate sale or hire.”

Darwin Group – Ready to support with GP building solutions

Whether your space requirement is clinical – for consultation rooms, pharmaceutical distribution or vaccination areas, or non-clinical, for office space, records storage, or as yet undefined, Darwin Group’s end-to-end consultative approach supports organisations to maximise your space and resources, while ensuring the continued protection of staff, patients, and care delivery.

To find out how Darwin Group can support your surgery by offering flexible, temporary or permanent building solutions, email enquiries@darwingroup.co.uk or complete the form below, and a member of the team will be in contact with further information.

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