Only one manager surveyed had heard of NHS LIFT.

Here's our bluffer's guide.

What is NHS LIFT?

NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust: a publicprivate partnership that will be a limited company with the NHS and private sector as shareholders.

Why a limited company?

The DoH claims that it is a simple and efficient way to structure a public-private partnership. It allows the NHS to share in any profits and offers the potential for GPs to become part-owners. Plus, the NHS can sell its shares if it wants.

What will it do?

It will build and refurbish 'batches' of primary care premises to lease.

How much will it invest?

Up to£1bn over four years - half of all total primary care development.

Where will it get its money?

The DoH will put in£175m over four years, with the rest coming from the private sector. Partnerships UK (the Treasury's equity stake initiative) will be the first investormatching DoH funding.

Why has it been set up?

To focus investment in the areas of greatest need, initially inner cities. The DoH says it will give flexible leasing arrangements for GPs, more premises in a shorter time and 'integration of services'.

Where and how will NHS LIFT operate?

There are six schemes in the first wave - all health action zones. NHS LIFT companies will be set up in each of the areas under the national joint venture company. The DoH expects procurement to begin in the autumn.

Who will run local NHS LIFTs?

The management board will include NHS managers, GPs and private sector partners.