A Government minister today welcomed launch of a new step-by-step guide for building health centres as key to the development of local authority and NHS services.
Ben Bradshaw, Minister of State for Health Services, was commenting on publication of 'Future-proofing Care Outside Hospital'. The document is a toolkit for those interested in using the LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Initiative) programme. LIFT has already delivered public-private investment totalling £1500 million in more than 210 buildings that are either open or under construction.
To download a PDF of 'Future-proofing Care Outside Hospital' click here
The launch takes place tonight (March 19) at the 1st Annual LIFT Awards in London, celebrating some of the pioneer organisations that have already developed modern health and social care facilities for local communities.
The LIFT programme allows PCTs and local authorities to work with the private sector, investing in new premises, to provide communities with modern, integrated health and community services in high quality, fit for purpose and innovative premises.
LIFT is the first coordinated programme of investment in primary healthcare infrastructure in the history of the NHS. Well over half the population of England and more than 80 PCTS are now covered by LIFT, which was started in 2001.
The 40-page document, published by Community Health Partnerships, which coordinates the LIFT programme, highlights developments that have seen new medical facilities built alongside leisure centres, gymnasiums, libraries and benefit advice centres. A number of GPs explain in the document how their practices and patients have benefited from this method of investment. There are case studies showing benefits in terms of co-location of services, convenience for patients, integration of NHS and local authority provision, urban regeneration and enhanced morale among staff.
Ben Bradshaw said: ''Future-proofing Care Outside Hospital' sets out the way we need to be thinking for the future. When Ara Darzi's final report is published in the summer, it is entirely possible that one outcome will be the provision of more, modern purpose-built primary care facilities. LIFT is in an excellent position to deliver this. We want to extend choice of NHS services further, and the arrangements that LIFT sites offer give commissioners the opportunity to do this.'
Dr Sue O'Connell, chief executive of Community Health Partnerships, said: 'Primary and social care in the NHS are undergoing rapid change. In order to deliver services to fit this agenda, versatile and flexible premises are required. This toolkit offers professionals, PCTs and local authorities the means to use LIFT to secure these premises.'
Dr Roy Macgregor, senior partner at the James Wigg Practice in north London and one of the authors of the toolkit, said: 'The toolkit has been written by professionals for professionals. It will be of great assistance to general practitioners and staff at both PCTs and local authorities.'
Contact: Jack O'Sullivan 07779 655585 - Judith Cytrynowicz 020 7633 4113
Notes to Editors:
Copies of 'Future-proofing Care Outside Hospital' can be downloaded from www.communityhealthpartnerships.co.uk or obtained from Community Health Partnerships. Tel 020 7633 4113
Community Health Partnerships (CHP) delivers the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme. Until autumn 2007, CHP, an independent company, wholly owned by the Department of Health, was known as Partnerships for Health.
Community Health Partnerships, New Kings Beam House, 11th Floor, 22 Upper Ground, LONDON SE1 9BW Telephone: 0207 633 4113 Fax: 0207 633 4141