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Farron accuses government of “daylight robbery” over NHS service charges

October 10, 2017 10:47 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has accused the government of "daylight robbery" after Central Lakes Medical Group was left with a huge proposed increase in service charges at its Ambleside site because of a change in how the property of the NHS is managed.

The GP practice has been invoiced an increase of £25,000 (from £21,000 to £46,000) in service charges per year.

Back in 2015, NHS Property Services Ltd (NHSPS) took ownership of many NHS Community and Primary Care buildings.

Since then surgeries throughout the country have seen a huge increase in service charges as NHSPS has changed the basis on which it charges surgeries including a 10% management fee for managing the costs of the building.

Charges have also increased due to the NHSPS' decision to move to national providers so that simple repairs are no longer done by local tradesmen, but have people travelling long distance - an alarm call out at the Ambleside site was attended to by a man from Stockport.

Tim said: "This is nothing short of daylight robbery.

"Every day we read about how financially stretched our health services are, and yet we now have a system where essentially a ringfenced property company ripe for privatisation is able to take money which should be being spent on vital frontline services.

"I've written to the Department of Health asking what they're doing to address this serious drain on front line funding which inevitably leads to poorer services for local people."