GPs to be allowed to buy LIFT stakes

Plans aim to boost investment in NHS LIFT.

GPs are to be allowed to buy stakes in premises built under NHS LIFT.

A spokesman for Community Health Partnerships (CHP), the agency responsible for the programme, said that it was '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 would be returned to it as a shareholder.

Deputy GPC 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 mod- ern standard.'

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