Published date: 12 April 2022

Repurposing vacant space across the North West to support Primary Care Networks

Various sites across Lancashire & South Cumbria


Sites: various sites across Lancashire and South Cumbria: Hants Lane Health Centre, Avensham Health Centre, Heysham Health Centre, and Birleywood Health Centre

Customers: Multiple GPs, their connected Primary Care Networks (PCNs), and wider Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

NHSPS representatives: Mike Hill, Senior Construction Manager; Kayley Riley, Senior Portfolio Optimisation Manager; and Senior Property Managers Javi Shepard, Zak Limbada, and Alistair Newman

Customer feedback

From David Armstrong, Senior Finance Lead, NHS England & Improvement

“This is an excellent example of co-operation and collaboration across the system. I am very pleased that the NHSPS team has shown such initiative to liaise directly with individual practices to help identify redundant and vacant space within the Health Centres, and to provide the support to convert and repurpose these spaces.

The schemes are by definition smaller scale, but these are precisely the type of schemes that bring into use the much needed capacity. The capacity and space being “freed up” as part of the records digitalisation programme could without this type of initiative add to the redundant and void spaces in the local infrastructure, so we are grateful that NHSPS has been able to provide this type of support, I hope this type of support can continue into the future.”


As Primary Care Networks (PCNs) become more established and evolve in their ability to take on Additional Roles and Responsibilities (ARRs), the pressure within Primary Care settings has in some places become overwhelming. In the North West, NHS Property Services teams are being contacted every week by GPs or CCGs asking us to support with the capacity pressures. 


NHSPS teams in the North West have worked with GPs and CCGs to identify pockets of space that are either currently vacant have become redundant due to patient records being digitalised. It has offered a real opportunity to repurpose space and create the much needed additional capacity for clinical services.

In the past year, NHSPS has invested £124,000 across the North West in these small repurposing schemes, and as they have been funded by NHSPS under the obsolescence policy they are at no additional cost to the customers. This has meant that there has been no need for agreement to additional revenue by CCGs and therefore we have been able to deliver more quickly.


This additional space has allowed PCNs to operate more effectively and the ARRs to have access to suitable workspace rather than working off site or in spaces that are not fit for purpose. In addition, GPs have signed Rent Agreement Letters (RAL) to give assurance for future billing and clarity on occupation.