DoH fails to consult PCTs on premises scheme

The DoH has spent months developing a £1 billion premises programme, without asking whether PCTs actually wanted to use it.

Express LIFT is a successor to the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme, which used public-private partnerships to build a new generation of surgeries in half of England's PCTs.

Under Express LIFT, contractors will be 'pre-approved' to build premises, speeding up the procurement process. The DoH says this would cut the process from two years to less than two months.

They add that the programme will be used by 'all PCTs who want to make use of it'.

The scheme has generated substantial interest in the construction industry, with 28 firms bidding for as few as six places on the final framework.

But correspondence between the DoH and PFI magazine Public Private Finance, obtained by GP, reveals that only three of the 75 eligible PCTs had confirmed that they were interested in using the new programme.

A DoH spokesman admitted: 'We did not carry out any survey in advance to ascertain interest. We have not collected data to enable us to know.'

A spokesman for Community Health Partnerships, the agency responsible for LIFT, said it had not formally gauged PCT interest levels. But 'anecdotally, we have found that many PCTs are interested in this method of procurement', he added.

GPC negotiator and premises spokesman Dr Peter Holden said: 'The DoH never bothered to ask the profession either.'

But he added the lack of consultation was not what put GPs off. 'The biggest problem GPs have got is that there is so much jargon that neither they nor the PCTs even understand,' he said.

The Express LIFT framework will be open to GPs once the approved list of six to 10 contractors has been chosen, early in 2009.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

GP-led sites behind almost three quarters of COVID-19 jabs in England

GP-led sites behind almost three quarters of COVID-19 jabs in England

GP-led vaccination sites have delivered nearly three quarters of COVID-19 vaccine...

GPs should ignore calls to throw away usable COVID-19 vaccine, says RCGP

GPs should ignore calls to throw away usable COVID-19 vaccine, says RCGP

Suggestions that vaccination sites should throw away usable doses of COVID-19 vaccine...

GPs urged to use influence to dispel COVID-19 vaccine myths and boost BAME uptake

GPs urged to use influence to dispel COVID-19 vaccine myths and boost BAME uptake

GPs have been encouraged to use their ‘huge influence’ to bust misinformation around...

Six in 10 over-80s vaccinated against COVID-19 as figures expose regional variation

Six in 10 over-80s vaccinated against COVID-19 as figures expose regional variation

Six in 10 people aged over 80 in England received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine...

Summary of changes to the GP contract 2021/22

Summary of changes to the GP contract 2021/22

The BMA and NHS England have agreed minor changes to the GP contract for 2021/22....