‘Responsible’ private investment needed for ‘new generation’ of NHS properties

Following Carillion collapse; LIFT Council warns MPs that primary care healthcare estate needs support and investment from the private sector

The LIFT Council, the representative body for private sector investors in Local Improvement Finance Trusts, has told MPs that a new generation of NHS primary care properties will require support and investment from ‘responsible’ representatives of the private sector.

The care delivered by the NHS has changed fundamentally in 70 years, but it’s entirely fair to say the buildings that care is delivered from haven’t kept up with the times

Speaking at a Parliamentary event on 31 January, LIFT Council chairman, Chris Whitehouse, reiterated the warnings of Sir Robert Naylor on the number of NHS buildings more than 30 years old, noting that the support of the private sector would be required to modernise the estate and aid the £10billion investment committed by Chancellor Philip Hammond in November’s Budget.

Noting concerns regarding use of the private sector following the collapse of Carillion; Whitehouse highlighted the value of the LIFT model compared to other initiatives, also noting the model had the capability to support and maintain premises able to deliver a range of services to support local communities.

A recent report from the Reform think tank revealed that 70% of GPs believe their surgeries are too small to deliver additional services as required in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Karin Smyth MP, who sponsored the parliamentary event, called for ‘collaboration’ to improve the NHS estate, which she described as one of its ‘most-fundamental aspects’.

Whitehouse said: “Sir Robert Naylor’s report showed the alarming number of NHS premises that are more than 30 years old.

“We cannot expect GPs and healthcare professionals to deliver the services patients need in local communities if the buildings they work in are simply not up to scratch.

“There is an understandable hesitancy about the role of the private sector in delivering public services and infrastructure given recent events.

But it’s important to remember that the LIFT model has been proven over nearly two decades, has delivered more than 330 fit-for-purpose buildings, and has generated more than £2.5billion of investment in the primary care estate.

Nearly 20% of the properties used by the NHS pre-date its creation. That cannot be compatible with the best-possible care or value for money. A new generation of premises is required

“These premises allow for the delivery of a multitude of services, ensuring patients get the care they need without resorting to acute settings, and delivering value for money to the health service.”

Smyth added: “The care delivered by the NHS has changed fundamentally in 70 years, but it’s entirely fair to say the buildings that care is delivered from haven’t kept up with the times.

“Nearly 20% of the properties used by the NHS pre-date its creation. That cannot be compatible with the best-possible care or value for money. A new generation of premises is required.”

Companies