The Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley has announced plans to create a government-owned property company to manage the primary care trust estate, and dispose of surplus property.

In a written statement, Lansley said the company, named NHS Property Services, will take ownership and manage parts of the PCT estate that aren’t categorised as “service critical clinical infrastructure”.

Surplus property, some operational estate, office and administration buildings will be transferred to the company.

Lansley said the company’s objectives will be to:

  • Hold property for use by community and primary care services, including for use by social enterprises.
  • Deliver value for money property services.
  • Cut costs of administering the estate by consolidating the management of over 150 estates.
  • Deliver and develop cost-effective property solutions for community health services; and
  • Dispose of property surplus to NHS requirements.

Government departments have stepped up plans to rationalise their estates in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence’s property and infrastructure arm issued a formal call to private sector companies interested in managing its estate.

In an announcement, officials said they wanted to conduct “soft market testing” to gauge market interest in the scheme.

Lansley said: “We are committed to making the NHS more efficient so more money can be spent on improving patient care. The new property company will take over and manage property that is currently owned and managed by Primary Care Trusts, delivering savings that will be spent on improving local services for patients.

“NHS Property Services Ltd will be wholly owned by the Department of Health. It will own and manage buildings that are needed by the NHS. However, it will also be able to release savings from properties that are declared surplus to requirements, are not needed and are standing empty to reinvest in local NHS services.

“This will make managing parts of the NHS estate much more efficient — in line with our plans to reduce spending on administration costs.”