DH-owned company to take on responsibility for NHS LIFT buildings

Community Health Partnerships assumes interest for more than 300 healthcare facilities in England as part of NHS reforms

With the abolition of primary care trusts from next April, responsibility for around 300 LIFT-procured NHS buildings will transfer to a Department of Health-owned company.

Community Health Partnerships (CHP), a limited company wholly owned by the DH, already holds a 20% shareholding in each of the 49 LIFT companies that have been set up over the past decade.

In addition, the organisation will assume responsibility for all PCT interest in LIFT buildings from 1 April 2013.

Over the past 10 years LIFT companies in England have delivered more than 300 healthcare buildings covering more than 700,000m2 of space.

Working in partnership with these groups, CHP has generated more than £2.5billion worth of investment, leveraging an original investment of around £53m made by the DH and providing an on-going return on investment to public sector shareholders including the local NHS.

Commenting on this week’s announcement, CHP chairman, John Bacon, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS Property Services to ensure a smooth transition of PCTs’ responsibilities for LIFT and the LIFT estate. This transition will be a significant programme of work, planning for which is well underway. We also look forward to driving out improved value and utilisation in support of the wider NHS QIPP targets."

There are four key responsibilities that CHP will take on from 1st April 2013. These are:

  • PCTs’ shareholding in LIFT companies will transfer to CHP
  • CHP will take responsibility for PCTs' subordinated debt loans to NHS LIFT schemes
  • CHP will become a participant in the 49 Strategic Partnering Agreements covering each of the LIFT areas
  • CHP will become head tenant and landlord, with responsibility for all LIFT buildings. It is currently envisaged that operational functions will be subcontracted to NHS Property Services to ensure that occupiers continue to receive high quality facilities supported by the same staff functions.

CHP non-executive director, Dr Sam Everington, said: “This is a huge opportunity to bring together the newly-formed clinical commissioning groups and those organisations involved in planning the healthcare estate. Working closely with NHS Property Services, CHP will help drive efficiencies and raise quality across the estate."

Fellow non-executive director, Dr Roy Macgregor, added: “As a GP, I have experienced first-hand the impact that LIFT buildings have on how primary care is delivered and drive service improvements for patients. For example, the Kentish Town Health Centre in London is housed within a LIFT building and brings together a truly integrated service for the local community.

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