NHS England has told GP leaders that building projects using money from the first tranche of a £1bn primary care infrastructure fund will be fully funded even if they are not completed by March.
Under rules accompanying the awarding of the funding, NHS England said infrastructure projects must be completed by March 2016 to receive all their allocated funding.
So far 1,087 GP practices have been approved to receive £192m from the first tranche of funding.
The British Medical Association’s GP committee previously said it had major concerns about how resources in the fund this year were being distributed.
In a letter to the doctors’ union last week, NHS England director of commissioning Ros Roughton said practices that cannot complete projects by the end of this financial year will still receive their funding.
Ms Roughton said: “The type and scale of developments that we are working on vary considerably and some developments which were supported in principle in March this year and currently being considered for approval will not be completed this year.”
She added: “We can continue to support developments which will be completed next year, subject to the approval process. We have found that during the formal approval process some practices have realised that they cannot make progress this year.
“Where this is the case we will either commit to support the development next year or pay for further planning costs if further work is needed, ready for funding next year.”
BMA GP committee chair Chaand Nagpaul told HSJ: “I’m glad that there seems to be a sensible understanding that delays can occur and there is commitment for projects that can end up being completed beyond 31 March will still receive their promised funding, that is what I have been given assurance on.
“I’m now looking for NHS England to send out a clear directive to all area teams so that there is consistency in terms of the implementation and deployment of this money because what we are [seeing] is huge variation in the way different area teams are implementing this funding.”