MP Richard Foord has demanded Government steps up to take responsibility for oversight of NHS Property Services (NHSPS).

A Parliamentary debate Mr Foord called saw him ask three questions of Ministers, whom he said ‘once again tried to distance themselves from the company’.

The debate was on the accountability of NHS Property Services, a Government-owned company, responsible for the management and rental arrangements for local healthcare facilities, including community hospitals.

Mr Foord called for greater flexibility on the cost of renting buildings from the company, which currently charges £247 per square metre.

He called for a concessionary rate for local and community groups, and put three questions to Health Minister Andrew Stephenson”

  • Does the Department for Health and Social Care set the rate at which NHS Property Services rents out facilities

  • Can this charging policy be changed by the Secretary of State

  • Why are Ministers refusing to hold their hands up when it comes to the relationship between the Department and NHSPS 

Mr Foord said the Minister failed to answer any of his questions and he branded the situation as ‘farcical’ and a ‘self-licking lollipop’.

He said: “The aim of my debate was to get some insight into how NHSPS is overseen by the Health Secretary, who is the sole shareholder of the company.

“However, what we got was a farce.

“The Government is still trying to duck responsibility for a company it owns.

“They cannot keep hiding behind officials and claiming that they cannot get involved.

“The mark of leadership is standing up and taking charge, helping bring about change when it is clearly needed.

“Sadly, we have seen none of that from Ministers.

“The current system is effectively a self-licking lollipop, where the Government is passing taxpayers’ money around in a circle for NHS facilities. 

“I will continue to fight to bring about real change for community hospitals so we can protect our rural and coastal facilities, now and in the future.”

Mr Foord represents Culm Valley communities from Hemyock to Holcombe Rogus but is switching to a new constituency for the coming General Election.