39783 - NHS Property Services: Fees and Charges (Answered)

Sir Nicholas Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance he has issued to NHS Property Services on charging clinical commissioning groups for void space in any NHS Property Services' properties.

George Freeman

Since NHS Property Services (NHS PS) was set up in April 2013, the full cost of running the Company’s properties and the services it provides has been recovered from the tenants, or in the case of any space that is unoccupied, the relevant commissioner for the property, either the local clinical commissioning group (CCG ) or NHS England.

Alongside the introduction of more rational charging arrangements in April 2016, NHS PS are implementing a new approach to charges levied for vacant space, moving the risk of vacant space from sitting solely with commissioners to being shared between commissioners and NHS PS. This is to align the incentives for resolving issues of vacant space with those best able to take action.

Under this policy, agreed with the Department and NHS England, charges to commissioners for “realisable” vacant space will come in the form of a fixed “vacating” fee, and will be paid when the tenant leaves. Following the payment of the vacating charge, all costs will revert to NHS PS. This will incentivise the Company to dispose of the property or sublet a lease as quickly as possible in order to minimise any costs not covered by the fixed fee.

To facilitate this policy it is essential that CCGs have a clear, shared understanding of vacant and realisable space between themselves and local NHS PS representatives.