Care should be provided on premises that are fit for purpose, and the environment be safe to deliver the services.

Outcome in plain English

10A Suitability of your premises

  • Are they suitable to be a GP practice
  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Comply with all legislation about premises
  • Have all facilities needed in a GP practice e.g private consulting rooms;treatment areas
  • Comply with all legislation about premises
  • Provide disability access
  • Don't have smelly premises
  • Follow best practice on design and operation
  • Must be safe for all patients
  • Accommodate needs of a parent or carer of a child (mostly relevant to care homes)
  • You have safety equipment and alarms and these are tested
  • Suitable and comfortable surroundings
  • Follow DOH guidelines

10B Other safety issues:

  • Medical gas cylinders and pipe lines are properly installed and maintained
  • Follow clinical waste guidelines
  • Follow COSSH regulations
  • Make sure alterations also comply with the above

10C Maintenance
Carry out a security risk audit
Ensure security of all users
Make sure personal property is protected

10D You must have procedures for the following:-

  • Maintaining the premises and carrying out risk assessment
  • Proper waste disposal
  • If you make changes to the premises, then ensure that you follow all the principles above

10E Patients and staff understand What to do in the event of an emergency.

10F Facilities

  • You must have enough toilets
  • You must have infant feeding facilities
  • Have alarm systems for mobility access patients
  • Have an alarm system for staff needing urgent assistance
  • Privacy for confidential briefings to patients and relatives

10G Plan and practise fire evacuation procedures.

10H You must have emergency procedures for:-

  • Utility failures
  • Fire & Flooding
  • Other emergencies
  • What you will do if the IT systems have also failed
  • Décor must be maintained and refreshed

10I Mostly applicable to care home setting - space for therepeutic, educational activities and space for relatives to stay

10N You must have a disaster management plan for communications failure. How will patients access your services if all telephone and internet service don't work


What the BMA says

Your practice is likely to be compliant if your practice does the following:

  1. Your practice is likely to be compliant if your practice does the following:  
  2. As much as appropriate, has premises that reflect the Department of Health’s Health Technical Memoranda. These memoranda can be viewed if you register with Registration is free for NHS GPs;
  3. As much as is reasonably practical, meets the requirements of the:

    •    Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974;
    •    Management of Health and Safety at work regulations 1999; (Amendment 2006)
    •    Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002;
    •    Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005;  
    •    and any related health and safety legislation.  

    To do so we advise you follow the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Introduction to Health and Safety guidance and use the template policy.
    As part of your compliance with this legislation you should conduct a health and safety risk assessment. We suggest using the HSE’s Five steps to risk assessment guidance and template.

  4. When an issue cannot be resolved, seeks to manage those risks. For example, if you are unable to secure funding to make reasonable improvements to your premises to meet the above requirements from the PCT that controls premises funding then we suggest you consider managing that risk by displaying appropriate information (e.g. alternative practices, how to access support), providing appropriate support to patients or adjusting how you use different parts of your premises.
  5. Takes into account of the needs of patients by having a mechanism for patients to make comments about your premises and acting on appropriate suggestions.
  6. For the benefit of staff and patients:

    •    has appropriate arrangements in place for the collection, classification, segregation, storage, handling, treatment and disposal of healthcare waste;

    •    ensures that medical gas cylinders and pipe lines are installed, maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and any safety alerts related to them;

    •    has a maintenance procedure, a person responsible for organising premises maintenance in response to risks that arise and a maintenance record.

  7. Ensures that any electrical, heating, safety and building facilities comply with statutory requirements and the manufacturer’s instructions.

Your practice has the following:

  1. Premises that meet your contractual requirements. In the case of GMS practices, your premises should meet, subject to any outstanding arrangements under the Schedule 6 (or equivalent) of the GMS contract,  the minimum requirements of the Premises Costs (England) Directions 2004 that can be viewed in Appendix 1 of the BMA’s Future of GP practice premises guidance;
  2. A business continuity plan in place to ensure that the needs of patients are met during and after a non-medical emergency (e.g. a power cut). NHS Connecting for Health have produced a business continuity plan that you could use.  
  3. Premises that are reasonably accessible to all patients and where reasonably practicable meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 regarding disabled people. Under the Act there is a duty to make reasonable adjustments to your premises for disabled people to be able to use your services. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s starter kit provides further information on the Act.
  4. Clear information about your fire evacuation procedures and other similar emergencies for patients on display.  
  5. Information for staff about what to do in an emergency in your induction/staff handbook/induction pack.
  6. Toilet and breast feeding facilities, including facilities for disabled people, if feasible and appropriate in your practice premises.


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