Of the original total of 217 properties declared as vacant:
- 28 have now been sold or are under offer;
- 66 are on the market/being prepared for market;
- 52 are still required by the National Health Service; and
- 71 are on short leases, with minimal market value.
The current valuations and average length of vacancy of these categories of property are shown in the following table:
Average length of vacancy (months)
Number of buildings/Land Parcels
Current valuation (£ million)
Sold or under offer
15.97 (NB: £10.8 million completed sale price on disposed properties valued at £8.13 million)
On the market/being prepared for market
Still required by the NHS
Short leases with minimal market value
NHS Property Services (NHSPS) cannot influence commissioners’ decisions on when they declare a property surplus to NHS requirements or the length of time which this may take. Therefore it is often the case that NHSPS own a building and it is vacant or partially vacant, but the commissioners have not declared it surplus, so it must be rightfully be maintained as part of the NHS estate, and NHSPS understand this and perform this role.
Once a vacant property is declared surplus, NHSPS can begin the process of sale – beginning always by offering it first to other public sector bodies. It is the Company’s responsibility to follow this process diligently to maximise the value these disposals bring into the NHS.
NHSPS has its properties revalued on a three-year rolling cycle (meaning not all our valuations are current at any one point in time) and NHSPS does not value short-term leasehold properties with low market value.
A short lease is an occupational lease usually at a market rent (as opposed to a ground rent), typically of less than five-10 years. They almost never have any market value. NHSPS endeavour to dispose of them either by sub-letting or lease surrender, depending on what is best value.
There are also a number of buildings on the list that are part of a large hospital and often it is just one building that is vacant, but the valuation figure will represent the site as a whole, albeit apportioned down for the vacant area. It is not therefore a full indication of the cost of that particular building. The list also includes vacant land and there are obviously minimal running costs for this part of the estate.