A spokesman for Community Health Partnerships (CHP), the agency responsible for the programme, said that it is ‘exploring the potential for GPs to invest in LIFT facilities’.
At present GPs can buy stakes in LIFT companies, the joint ventures between the NHS and private contractors which build and own LIFT buildings, although they cannot invest in the buildings themselves. To date, however, no GPs have invested in LIFT companies.
CHP believes the plan will make LIFT buildings more attractive to GPs who have been wary of renting from a third party. It would also effectively reduce a practice’s rent, as some of the money paid would be returned to them as shareholders.
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the plan was a ‘sensible way forward’. ‘This has been one of the barriers to GPs taking up space in LIFT buildings,’ he said.
‘Under shared ownership you'd be more likely to ensure the building is maintained to a modern standard.’
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