West Midlands-based property company Prime has won one of seven places on the new £2 billionNHS Express LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) framework.

This is designed to help up to 70 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) across the country to redevelop their healthcare property. 

The seven companies and groups which have secured a place on the NHS Express LIFT framework are Community Solutions for Primary Care, Express LIFT Investments Limited, Equity Solutions, Eric Wright Group, Fulcrum Infrastructure, Odyssey Healthcare and Prime Plc.

The NHS Express LIFT framework follows on from the original NHS LIFT programme.

This was formed by the Department of Health in 2001 to partner PCTs, public sector organisations such as local authorities and private sector property providers in a LIFT Company to redevelop rundown and unfit GP surgeries, health centres, walk-in centres and community hospitals. 

NHS LIFT has so far created 47 LIFT Companies, each formed to redevelop a wide range of health buildings in their region over a 25-year partnership.

Worcester-based Prime won two of those LIFT Companies in the NHS LIFT tender process, to become private sector partner to Birmingham’s four PCTs - Birmingham East & North PCT, South Birmingham PCT, Heart of Birmingham tPCT, and Solihull Care Trust.

Leighton Chumbley, group managing director of Prime, said: “Of the seven bidders that have won places on the framework, Prime is the only specialist property company, the others largely being consortia, or coming from a construction background.

“We operate under a single company structure and have more than a decade of experience working with the NHS so we are in a strong position to offer a very unified and experienced partnership to PCTs. 

Our team has been working together for many years and spans the full range of skills, from finance and investment to architecture and interior design, to development and construction management through to operation and asset management. We even have several ex- NHS team members.”

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: “LIFT has proved highly successful in allowing Trusts to upgrade inadequate or ageing facilities around the country.

“The successful companies approved on the Express LIFT framework will go one step further in cutting down on the time and cost of the procurement process and help the scheme expand rapidly.

“It will enable more Primary Care Trusts and local authorities to take advantage of its benefits – faster builds, improved working conditions for staff, better care environments for patients, and better overall facilities available for the local community.”