On the 20th anniversary of the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme, partners have called on the Government to harness the huge strengths of the LIFT model to tackle the healthcare challenges ahead and secure the future of the LIFT programme to continue supporting the NHS and local communities across England.
The LIFT Council, the representative body for NHS LIFTCos in England, has today published the Five-Year Forward View for the LIFT programme, which outlines its strategic priorities from the Government and health service leaders, including the crucial end of term period.
These priorities are:
A clear expression of support for the future of LIFT.
A role for third-party providers from the LIFT estate in developing Cavell Centre pilots.
Use of the NHS LIFT model to support activities in health care infrastructure, such as the 40 new hospitals programme.
Use of the NHS LIFT model as a key tool to create Integrated Care Systems (ICS) through the Health and Social Care Bill.
Effective local public sector partnerships with the creation of Integrated Care Systems.
The Five-Year Forward View also details how the LIFT model is more than just a delivery vehicle with the expertise of the 49 LIFTCos across England able to play an important role in supporting our NHS across a variety of areas. These include: integrating services, infrastructure planning, the post-pandemic recovery and enabling the move to net zero.
Writing in the foreword for the NHS LIFT Five-Year Forward View, The Rt Hon Alan Johnson, former Health Secretary and Chair of the Citycare LIFTCo said:
‘LIFT is the most successful public infrastructure project that most have never heard of, but its achievements are there for all to see: over 350 high-quality, flexible primary and community care facilities delivered, with nine out of ten of these being in areas of above average health needs. One of the founding promises of the NHS was a health centre in every community. 73 years later, the NHS LIFT programme has helped carry us towards that goal.’
In addition, Sarah Beaumont-Smith, Chair of The LIFT Council said:
‘After two successful decades of supporting the NHS and local communities, the end of LIFT’s 25-year team is approaching in a number of areas, but we see this as a beginning not an end - The LIFT Council members are clear in our commitment to continue working with our public sector partners, in contrary to the cut and run charge that is all too often laid at the door of third-party providers. We are excited by the opportunities presented by the Cavell Centre pioneers, which will build on the successes of the LIFT estate and hope to play a role in the next wave of delivering primary and community care.’