New Lease of Life at Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre

Leading property specialists to the primary care market, Primary Care Surveyors continues to deliver innovative property solution to its clients. In one latest instruction, Primary Care Surveyors was instructed by the partners of Carlisle House Surgery in Poole to find a new home for the practice, enabling the business to expand its patient list whilst being able to offer additional services to the local community.

Carlisle House Surgery had occupied a domestic house conversion in Lagland Street, Poole, for nearly 100 years. The converted building was owned by the daughter of a former partner, with the partners occupying the premises by way of a 15-year lease.

The building in Lagland Street was dated and offered no room for expansion of the patient list nor of services to the community. The partners wished to relocate to new premises where additional services could be offered and the practice could expand.

The lease being due to expire, Primary Care Surveyors represented the practice in negotiating the terms of the new lease. The new lease was for a term of 15 years, which included break options so the practice could relocate to another property without issue.

The partners of the practice were in discussion with the landlord of Lifeboat Quay, a commercial development in Poole. The new building offered more space, with the advantage of remaining centrally located but in close proximity to a train station and adjacent to a supermarket which affords additional patient car parking.

Lifeboat Quay is a multi-tenanted property comprising of six units. The larger unit is occupied by a Travelodge hotel, with the two smaller ground floor units being occupied by food franchises, namely Subway and Costa Coffee, and a gym on the top floor. The two remaining ground floor units were vacant, and it was one of these that the partners thought would make an excellent medical centre.

What We Did

Primary Care Surveyors were retained to negotiate with the landlord of Lifeboat Quay on behalf of the practice, agreeing a new lease for the larger of the vacant units, and to discuss the level of financial support the NHS would provide for the fit-out of the new medical centre. Primary Care Surveyors then developed a five-case model business case to HM Treasury’s Green Book standards for the purpose of thoroughly detailing and justifying the project and securing capital funding.

Terms were agreed to acquire Unit A, Lifeboat Quay, on a 25-year lease. The unit was finished to ‘shell & core’ standard, meaning it was a basic shell, with bare structural walls and concrete floors. The new medical centre would comprise of clinical accommodation for the provision of NHS primary healthcare services.

Primary Care Surveyors negotiated with the NHS to fund a proportion of the fit-out works to the new building. In total, the fit-out costs were circa £900,000, with the NHS agreeing to fund two-thirds of that total and with the remaining balance coming from the landlord. The landlord paid this additional money to the tenant by way of a reverse premium, with the landlord then recovering this over the term of the lease by way of additional rent. The District Valuer, acting on behalf of the NHS, deemed that both rents (i.e. that for the ‘shell & core’ and the additional rent towards the cost of the fit-out) were fair and reasonable, with the NHS then paying both rents.

The Results and The Future

The partners changed the name of the practice to recognise the new location. Now, the new Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre is a modern, state-of-the-art building, providing the surrounding community with a high level of service from ten clinical rooms and ancillary accommodation.

The fit-out works for Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre were completed in August 2019 and on the 2nd September the first patients crossed the threshold. The practice is thriving, with over 6,000 patients and growing, whilst services offered to the local community have been increased.

Comment from Jill Tobin, Practice Manager: “Whilst we have moved only 400 metres from the old surgery, it feels like a whole world away. Being prominently located, we have engaged with a broader community and we are noticing a steady increase in patient registrations. However, the space we now have will enable us to offer a range of new and much needed services for our patients, as well as hosting a new multi-disciplinary team working across 6 central Poole GP practices. Primary Care Surveyors made sure that this project and the lease transition was seamless, and for this we are very grateful.”