COMMERCIAL: Two LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) companies set up by Southampton City and Hampshire primary care trusts are to merge to create a single LIFT company.

Southampton and Hampshire have formed the SHIP PCT “cluster”, along with NHS Isle of Wight and NHS Portsmouth.

The decision to merge Hampshire’s Assura Lift Company with Southampton’s Solent Community Solutions, is still subject to strategic health authority approval, but was backed by the PCT boards to reduce running costs in the face of reduced new business and provide a sustainable model for the future.

It is estimated savings of £250,000 a year are possible through the merger. The existing LIFT companies will be retained to manage a small number of existing building leases.

The proposed shareholding of the new Lift CO will be:

Southampton City PCT 5%
Hampshire PCT15%
Community Health Partnerships20%
Community Solution Investment Partners30%
Assura LIFT Holdings 30%