08 July 2013,

Report outlines the impact of the LIFT programme over the past ten years

The Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme has delivered a significant range of health and regeneration benefits for some of the most disadvantaged parts of England, according to an independent report - published today - that examines the programme’s social and economic impact over the past ten years.

The research, undertaken between January and April 2013 by AMION Consulting, found that one of the most important outcomes of the LIFT programme has been the increased access to health and social care services for people in underprivileged communities; nearly nine in every 10 projects are in areas with above average health needs and 40% of all LIFT investment (over £790m) has been in the 10% of most deprived areas across England. The report’s key findings include:

  • Improving the health and wellbeing of communities
    A high proportion of LIFT buildings provide services in areas where a significant number of residents suffer from socio-economic disadvantage, including poor health and wellbeing. For example, 119 projects are based in the 10% most deprived areas of England.
    - There are 3.3 times as many LIFT projects in multicultural areas than would have been expected given an even distribution across all area types.
    - LIFT accommodation has brought care closer to patients and integrated a greater range of services under one roof, so that individuals can access a range of health and social care services in one visit.
  • Supporting 21st century healthcare
    The LIFT Programme has driven significant improvements in the quality of health service accommodation, enhancing working conditions and facilities for a wide range of service providers.
    - The co-location of GPs and other service providers, including third sector support services, has enabled a more united service.
  • Boosting local economies and creating jobs
    The construction of LIFT buildings has been an important source of economic activity during the recent period of financial hardship. To date, the LIFT programme has directly generated employment opportunities for approximately 30,000 people.
    - An estimated 80% of construction spend has been with local businesses, with an estimated £1.31bn injection into the SME sector.
    - As well as employment during the construction phase, LIFT developments accommodate a significant number of jobs, often in areas where there are few other employers.
    - Projects have often resulted in an increased market for businesses located in or near the LIFT developments. These include private and third sector providers of health services, pharmacies, cafes and other local retail and lifestyle businesses.

The publication of the report coincides with the 10-year anniversary since the creation of the first LIFT Company, East London LIFT Company, which was formed in May 2003. Since then, over 300 developments have opened or are currently under construction. They provide over 871,000sq m of floorspace and involve more than £2.2bn of expenditure.

Sue O’Connell, chief executive of CHP, said: “We’re very proud of collective achievements of the LIFT programme over the past 10 years.  As the national LIFT lead, we wanted to explore the impact of the Programme during that time in more detail, recognising that whilst the core rationale behind LIFT is the delivery of more effective and accessible health services, there are also many other potential benefits.”

Since 2001, CHP has provided the national lead for the LIFT programme, both a shareholder in LIFT companies and by playing a key role in facilitating public-private partnerships to deliver a wide range of health planning and estate services.  In addition, as of 1st April 2013, CHP took over the PCTs’ responsibilities in the LIFT programme, including being Head Tenant for the NHS LIFT buildings, as well as becoming a participant in the 49 Strategic Partnering Agreements that cover each of the LIFT areas.

Read the full report