COMMERCIAL: Some emerging GP commissioners in South East Essex have raised concerns about the use of the LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) scheme to build two new primary care centres.

The NHS South East Essex board will meet on 23 February 2011 in a special meeting to approve the final business case for the centres in Valkyrie Road and North Road, Westcliff.

A paper to be submitted to the meeting said: “Sites have been purchased by South East Essex LIFT Limited, the designs have been finalised and planning permission has been obtained.”

But the report also said negotiations had taken place with the local GP commissioning consortia and there was “concern voiced around LIFT as a delivery vehicle and whether value for money is achieved and demonstrated.”

The report went on “Another concern raised by the GPCC leads was whether it was appropriate for the PCT to undertake an investment in one GPCC area whilst it was uncertain as to how this would affect the future funding likely to be received by the new GPCC on their establishment in April 2013. In the absence of any clear national guidance as to the principles that will applied to the creation of opening GPCC budgets it is difficult to provide a clear answer to this question.

“In considering whether it is a relevant factor as it makes its decision, the Board may wish to note that it is probable (but not certain) that the majority of the funding stream for this project will become the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board, being the reimbursement of GP premises rents.”

The report said these concerns should be taken into account by the PCT board.