A health centre that was saved from closure just three months ago could face a mind-boggling 1,300% increase in rent.
Slaithwaite Health Centre’s rent is currently £5,000 per year, but it could rise to up to a whopping £70,000.
The surgery, which is in New Street, was previously facing a 44% budget cut.
But GP partners and the Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reached an agreement in July that it would be a 20% budget cut instead.
It was also agreed that there would be no staff redundancies.
Now the campaigners who fought for more than a year to secure the surgery’s future have been told by doctors that the NHS might rewrite its premises contract.
Martin Jones from campaign group Slawit Health Centre SOS said: “The news was a bit of a bombshell. It is a bit complicated because the building needs lots of repairs.
“The doctors hope that the issue can be resolved, but this is not certain. At Slawit Health Centre SOS, we think that what is happening to us is a symptom of much wider problems in primary care as budgets are put increasingly under pressure.”
Any rent increase would be in addition to the 20% budget cut.
Dr Paul Wilding, a GP partner at the health centre, said: "GPs across the land are on their knees due to under investment.
"Huge increases in premises charges will be the final straw and will force too many GPs to close.
"All we are trying to do is deliver a good service to our patients.
"The government and it’s agencies should be triggering emergency financial support to GP surgeries and the wider NHS.
"What we are facing instead is another smack in the face."
A spokesperson for NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The lease on the premises at New Street has nothing to do with the financial agreement for the Health Centre, approved in July by the CCG.
“With regard to the premises, these are leased by the practice from NHS Property Services and the current 10 year lease ends in March 2018.
“As with any practice in the area with premises owned by NHS Property Services, when that practice’s lease is up for renewal there will be a review of the terms of the lease. This would be carried out by NHS Property Services with input from the CCG as needed.”