NHS LIFT favours the private sector

NHS LIFT has focused on the needs of private contractors, at the expense of PCTs' concerns, a DoH review has found.

As a result, many PCTs are unsure whether they are getting good value from their building schemes, it warned.

The review found that both private companies and NHS staff were concerned that Community Health Partnerships (CHP), the agency that runs LIFT, had focused too heavily on understanding contractors' needs.

Because of this, many felt it had failed to offer PCTs support or 'benchmarking' tools to help them judge whether contractors were overcharging.

The review, by North East Essex PCT finance director Caroline Rassell, found LIFT 'can be a very effective tool'.

But it warned that LIFT companies were no longer 'the only show in town' for new primary care premises, and called on CHP to overhaul the programme to ensure that PCTs would continue to use it.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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