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GPs may be allowed to invest in Lift-run premises

26 June 2008

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GPs could be allowed to buy a stake in premises built by the NHS in partnership with the private sector.

Local Improvement Finance Trusts (Lift) are private companies with the NHS and the private sector as shareholders. The companies own and maintain buildings and lease the premises to PCTs, GPs and other health providers.

A spokesman for Community Health Partnerships (CHP), the agency responsible for the programme, said that it is “exploring the potential for GPs to invest in Lift facilities”.

GPs can currently buy stakes in Lift companies, although they cannot invest in the buildings themselves.

CHP believes the plan will make Lift buildings more attractive to GPs who have been wary of renting from a third party. It would may also reduce a practice’s rent, as some of the money paid would be returned to them as shareholders.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey called the plan a “sensible way forward”.

He said: “This has been one of the barriers to GPs taking up space in Lift buildings. Under shared ownership you’d be more likely to ensure the building is maintained to a modern standard.”

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