What is LIFT and The LIFT Council?

LIFT has been incredibly successful throughout its existence, both as a procurement route for new facilities, and as a means of providing effective estate management solutions.

The Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) initiative was founded in 2000 as a vehicle for partnership between the public and private sectors for regeneration and the development of facilities for primary care and community services that would best meet the needs of local populations.

The LIFT initiative provides public sector organisations with the means to upgrade existing facilities, and where necessary to develop entirely new premises and estates.

Under the LIFT structure, LIFT facilities are refurbished or built and maintained by a local LIFT company (LIFTCo) – a joint venture between the public and private sectors, which has the responsibility for leasing facilities back to the NHS England and maintaining the premises over the long-term.

LIFT is a proven value-for-money vehicle which can help to overcome some of the practical estate issues which prevent local stakeholders joining together to meet the needs of the local community by accommodating multiple services, not necessarily limited to healthcare, under one roof.

Rather than looking for alternative modes of delivery, most local authorities and commissioning bodies in England are able to engage with their LIFT partners to make full use of this proven and successful model and save expensive additional procurement costs.

Since its inception, more than 300 facilities have been developed and more than £2.2 billion invested across England through the LIFT programme, to the benefit of countless local communities.

More than 40% of this investment has been made in the top 10% most deprived local communities and an estimated 30,000 jobs have been created.

This success is due to LIFT providing local partners with a more affordable and faster route for procurement, while also allowing schemes to be built and maintained according to local needs.

As the voice of those organisations, not just the private sector partners, investing in LIFT, the LIFT Council plays a pivotal role in communicating the benefits of the model both financial, and through delivering services tailored to suit local needs.

It is a challenging time for everyone involved in delivering health services in the UK. Structural reforms to the NHS are still bedding in, and austerity continues to bite, leaving something of a vacuum when it comes to commissioning integrated community primary care facilities.

However the fact remains that the LIFT initiative is ideally placed to meet the challenges presented by financial restrictions and reconfiguration.

Those communities and local authorities involved in LIFT will continue to see firsthand how it is a solution that is inherently flexible and able to meet their needs, while also delivering significant savings through the co-location of health and community service and the adoption of the best of private sector practices.

The LIFT Council will continue to highlight the merits of the LIFT model to all stakeholders, and work harder to ensure better health facilities and service delivery for communities across England.