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Direct payments streamline GP rent payments

CHP has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHSE and our sister company NHS Property Services to introduce efficient and effective direct payments for premises costs covering our buildings.

Previously, GPs, who are independent contractors to the NHS, have been reimbursed by commissioners under the NHS Premises Cost Directions for some of their premises costs such as rent, rates, water and clinical waste, and a GP then has to pass these funds onto their landlord (e.g. CHP or NHSPS).

Under Direct Payments, these funds pass directly across to NHSPS and CHP as landlord from the commissioner, ensuring the funds do not leave the NHS (or DHSC group).

This reduces administration for GPs through a reduction in transactions between commissioners, themselves and DHSC property companies and gives better clarity of charges for commissioners.  It also supports more timely payments of bills (with an average reduction in payment time of 120 days to 23 days in CHP) and less financial management and administrative time for all concerned.

CHP started this process of discussing direct payments two years ago, and has so far worked with 15 local health economies to introduce it covering £37m of bills.  An additional 13 local health economies are in the process of moving to the same method of payment.

Where it has been implemented, the benefits include clearer billing, better cash flow, better understanding for commissioners on the space occupied, enabling better planning and improved working relationships between all parties.

“Direct Payments are an efficient, time-saving process especially as practice managers have so many hats to wear.  Direct Payments are one less thing to think about.”  A Business Partner, Liverpool.

19 July 2021

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