In a step closer towards updating and building new healthcare facilities, NHS Cumbria has become the first Primary Care Trust to establish a LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) company procured through the faster and more cost-effective Express LIFT framework (Thursday 19 November).
Currently around half of PCTs in England are using LIFT to update facilities and build new, modern GP surgeries, health centres and walk-in centres. The Express LIFT framework reduces the time and cost by offering pre-approved LIFT partners for local procurements by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authorities, completing contracts within three or four months as opposed to two years as was previously the case.
The Express LIFT framework announced in March 2009 helps PCTs select a partner faster, reducing the cost of wasted bids and ultimately saving money for the taxpayer. Both PCTs and the LIFT partners will benefit from being able to focus on delivering through long-term strategic partnerships, some of which will last for twenty years.
NHS Cumbria has now set the benchmark for this exciting new procurement method by completing their procurement contract within four months. Following Department of Health guidelines, and with the support of Community Health Partnerships, 'eLIFT Cumbria Ltd' is now a working partnership bringing Cumbria's vision of 21st century health and social care up to date with state-of-the-art new health care buildings.
Health Minister Mike O'Brien said:
"LIFT has proved highly successful in allowing the NHS to upgrade inadequate or ageing facilities around the country faster than traditional procurement methods, as well as providing a framework for long-term partnership between the public sector and private sector developers.
In responding to NHS needs we have been successful in making the procurement process even shorter with Express LIFT helping save more time and money.
The establishment of eLIFT Cumbria Ltd as the first LIFT Company will deliver high quality, flexible health care facilities and a better care environment for patients in Cumbria, as well as improved working conditions for staff."
Dr. Sue O'Connell, CEO of Community Health Partnerships said:
"To establish the 48th LIFT Company in such a short timescale is a real achievement and a credit to everyone involved. Cumbria has proved that the theory of Express LIFT has worked in practice. CHP is delighted with the outcome of the process and is looking forward to the next success along this route."
Dr. Mike Bewick, Primary Care Medical Director and PCT Director of eLIFT Cumbria Ltd said:
"We are delighted to have formally signed contracts with Express LIFT Investments Limited (ELIL) to establish our LIFT Company. This offers an opportunity to realise the development of primary care services within Cumbria, fulfilling part of the Closer to Home strategy.
ELIL will bring extensive experience in delivering large infrastructure schemes for the NHS, and we look forward to our new LIFTCo accelerating our plans to re-develop our community hospitals in the most cost effective way."
Nigel Bennett, Chair of ELIL (Express LIFT Investments Limited), said:
"We are delighted and proud to have created the first Express LIFT company with our public sector partners. Express LIFT has lived up to its name and having established the partnership in record time we look forward to working with NHS Cumbria and Cumbria County Council to provide facilities and services that support the delivery of health and social care in Cumbria."
For further information on Express LIFT click here
Notes to Editors:
The LIFT programme was established in 2001. Under the initiative, a series of long-term public/private partnerships have been set up between Primary Care Trusts, local authorities and the private sector to provide modern, purpose-built facilities.
LIFT enables PCTs and local authorities to develop new capital schemes faster than traditional procurement methods and provides a framework for long-term partnership between the public sector and private sector developers.
Express LIFT accelerates the LIFT process even further, offering PCTs and local authorities who have not yet conducted their own procurement, the opportunity to select a pre-approved LIFT partner more quickly and cost effectively from the list. Local procurements from the Express LIFT framework can be completed within three or four months as opposed to two years as is currently the case.
The list of Express LIFT framework partners was published on 13 March 2009. The seven approved LIFT partners are:
All interested bidders were invited to submit a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire ("PQQ") setting out details of their relevant experience and qualifications to take part on the framework. 28 completed PQQs were received and, following evaluation, 14 bidders were invited to complete full tenders.
Selection was based on a robust evaluation process carried out by two teams, one from the Department and the other from Community Health Partnerships, whose scores were moderated to come up with an agreed score for each bid.
It is proposed that the framework will run for two years with an option for the Department to extend for a further two years depending on the performance of the framework partners. This will allow for a re-tender, meaning new, companies can be added.
Express LIFT Investments Limited ("ELIL") is a consortium formed specifically to participate in the Express LIFT initiative. ELIL is a joint venture that brings together the following parties who have a first class record of delivery in the NHS LIFT marketplace and wider Public Private Partnership initiatives:
For more information on ELIL, please visit www.elil.co.uk
There are currently 48 LIFT Companies covering around half of England's population which have delivered over £2 billion worth of primary care facilities.
For more information contact the Department of Health Press Office on: 0207 210 5221.