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  • Jane Batchelor

Healthcare sector celebrates 20 years of the NHS LIFT Programme

Updated: 5 days ago

Private and public sectors unite to mark 20 years of delivering quality community healthcare.


A range of activities have been announced today by The LIFT Council and CHP to help celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the NHS LIFT programme that has been instrumental in provide high quality estate to delivering healthcare in communities across England for the past two decades. Established in 2001, the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (NHS LIFT) programme has helped the private and public sectors work in partnership to deliver quality Primary healthcare and community facilities throughout England. LIFT buildings are delivered by LIFT Companies (LIFTCos) where private investors work in partnership with Community Health Partnerships - the Government-owned company that holds a 40% stake in the growth and upkeep of these important NHS assets.

Through this close partnership working over the last 20 years, the NHS LIFT programme has delivered:

  • 350 new healthcare buildings across England

  • Significant healthcare benefits to some of the most deprived communities with nearly 9 in every 10 LIFT buildings being in areas with above average health needs - £2.5bn raised for capital development for just £100m of taxpayers’ money

  • More than 30,000 jobs created.

To help celebrate the huge achievements of the NHS LIFT Programme so far, and to look ahead at how LIFT can continue to support the NHS in the healthcare challenges ahead, The LIFT Council (the representative body of NHS LIFTCos) and Community Health Partnerships (CHP) today announced a series of initiatives and activities to mark the 20th anniversary including:

  • A new logo and slogan of ’Enabling in-community care for 20 years’ to celebrate the work LIFTCos have done to support the NHS over two decades and a sign of our commitment to supporting the Health Service for another 20 years.

  • The LIFT Council will hosting a virtual event on Wednesday 14 July. During this event, we will celebrate the faces of NHS LIFT over the last two decades and set out a vision for the future of the programme. Further details and participants will be announced in due course.

  • We will also be highlighting the different faces of LIFT by picking out 20 examples from across England that epitomise the commitment to quality NHS estates that our work embodies and setting out how we have been enabling NHS care, especially over the last trying year.

Commenting on the twentieth anniversary of the NHS LIFT programme, Chair of The LIFT Council Sarah Beaumont-Smith said:

“For 20 years the LIFT programme has shown the huge value of the public and private sectors working together to support the NHS and deliver quality community healthcare, none more so than over the past 12 months when LIFT buildings around the country have played a vital role in the fightback against COVID-19. The 20th anniversary is chance to celebrate how much the NHS LIFT Programme has achieved so far but, more importantly, to look ahead at the vital role LIFT buildings can continue to play in the healthcare challenges we face. I look forward to joining our partners and colleagues from across the healthcare sector to celebrate this important milestone.”

In addition, former Health Secretary and Independent Chair of the Citycare and Shared Agenda LIFTCO Alan Johnson said:

“When we set out on this pioneering journey twenty years ago, it was to improve a primary care estate where single-handed GP practices were often situated in inadequate terraced housing, built long before the NHS was created. By forming long-term relationships between the public and private sectors, we were able to provide thirteen state-of-the-art Health Centres in Hull, all maintained in Day One condition as a crucial community resource. These are part of the 350 new healthcare buildings delivered as testament to this partnership model, and the vision and dedication of LIFTCos across the country. For me, this is about much more than bricks-and-mortar; by allowing GP practices to combine and cooperate under one roof with previously centralised aspects of healthcare devolved to local communities, they are helping to provide the best care to the people who need it most. As an MP in Hull, I saw first-hand the beneficial impact these facilities had on redevelopment in the city. And now, as Chair of Citycare, I know how crucial this partnership still is in providing healthcare facilities fit for the 21st Century.”

Community Health Partnerships Chief Executive Officer Dr Sue O’Connell said:

“The strength of the NHS LIFT Programme is in its unrelenting focus on partnership. I am proud to say that through collaboration our work has delivered on its core purpose, to enable the integration of services and delivery of excellent care. The community-based NHS estate is an important enabler of care delivery and continues to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. Through LIFT, in partnership with the NHS and private sector partners, we have delivered significant investment in areas of high health need. This is something to be celebrated.”

Further details of The LIFT Council and CHP’s plans to mark twenty years of LIFT will be shared shortly, including on social media with #NHSLIFT20 or follow us on Twitter @NHSLIFT.

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