NHS staff to get first chance to buy homes built on surplus land
NHS staff will be given first refusal to buy thousands of affordable homes to be built on unused or surplus NHS land across England.
The policy announced by the government is expected to create around 3,000 homes, with the money generated set to be pumped back into NHS services.
The announcement follows 17 recommendations made in March last year by Sir Robert Naylor's NHS Property and Estates review, of which 15 have now been accepted by the government.
Sir Robert, former chief executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was asked to look at the issue in response to comments in Lord Patrick Carter's review of hospital productivity.
Minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care Stephen Barclay said: ‘The government welcomes the review and its recommendations, which we will implement in conjunction with national partners and the NHS.’
He added: ‘I can reassure NHS organisations that they will be able to retain receipts from land sales, so these can be reinvested in the NHS estate, to renew and replace outdated facilities and to address backlog maintenance, in line with local priorities and sustainability and transformation partnership strategies.
‘Where surplus land is developed for housing, NHS staff will be given the right of first refusal on any affordable homes built.’
Mr Barclay said the government hoped this would help 3,000 NHS workers and their families living in areas where accessing affordable housing can be challenging to own their home.
Need to act quickly
In a written statement, chancellor Philip Hammond, said proceeds from the sale of surplus land would generate up to £3.3 billion.
‘The government has delivered its share of the funding needed. The NHS must also play its part.
‘It cannot be right for NHS properties to remain unused and empty when their disposal could generate funds for reinvestment and thus improve facilities and services for patients.’
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