0 votes
I recently undertook a project to improve something in our local surgery.  The practice offered to pay half and I submitted a grant application to my PC for the rest. They declined it saying that the Medical Centre was private business and their grant policy excluded donations to such entities. While they have the General Power of Competence I accept this a power. However the superseded S137 (3) does allow donations to "public sector funds". Is there any advice as to what constitutes a "public sector fund".
asked by (470 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
I can understand your Parish Council's caution, however, they MIGHT be wrong in law.
As the council has GPC by default have Well-being powers. Such that they may act under Section 2, Local Government Act 2000 (as amended), to provide for the 'the promotion or improvement of the social well-being of their area" That power is used to spend on health related projects across the country.

Obviously it depends on whether it the provision of a service or capital spend.
If it is capital spend (new building / building work etc), then it is more difficult as the surgery (which is legally a private business) would make a gain on the sale of the property without benefit to the community. - Difficult to justify.

If it is to convert a disused office and the parish is paying for a nurse (or someone/something) to provide a public health benefit e.g. a new diabetic clinic in the area, then it can much more easily be argued as a public benefit and more easy to justify.
answered by (3.6k points)
The position was that the web site used to re order repeat prescriptions failed when three surgeries amalgamated  into one new Group. At this stage all patients were left to sort things out themselves as the reception, doctors etc had no clue how to sort out the problem. I then complained to the surgery and enquired what facilities they had to mass communicate urgent messages. It was evident at that stage that putting something on the notice boards was the most proactive thing they did. I then got together with the Practice manager and the Groups IT man and we agreed an IT solution which was able display urgent messages in surgery and also inter alia  contained a patient calling facility. Therefore in my eyes it was clearly for the benefit of the community as a whole and certainly moreso than many of S137 expenditures authorised historically.
As a layman I find it difficult to try and read and understand the differences between S137 , the power of well being and the GPC. But in none of them can I find anything which precludes paying for something which of  benefit to the community just because that benefit is delivered through a private company . Indeed the GPC states that they can spend money on anything just like an individual can. Having said that I accept it is an optional power.
 Does anyone have an examples of such payments being made?

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