The NHS LIFT Estate

Three hundred and fifty community-based healthcare buildings have been designed, built, funded and are operated through the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme.

The programme was set up in 2001. Its aim was to:

  • modernise the health estate enabling NHS services that were fit for the future, while putting patients’ needs at its centre
  • generate investment in primary care and wellbeing infrastructure to improve the environment where these services are delivered, particularly in areas of high health need
  • bring care into the community and out of the acute setting wherever possible


Community Health Partnerships established 49 joint venture public private partnerships. Through these partnerships this brought about the largest and most concentrated investment by the NHS and the private sector in the primary care and community health estate across England.

The LIFT estate has been designed to support better patient outcomes, make services more accessible for those in greatest need, and provide modern, purpose-built environments for staff.

Just under 9 in every 10 LIFT projects are in areas with above average health needs.

A comprehensive piece of research commissioned in 2014 (Amion Report), demonstrated that:

  • The LIFT Programme has driven a significant improvement in the quality of health service accommodation, improving working conditions and facilities for a wide range of service providers. Outmoded and inadequate premises have been replaced with high quality, flexible accommodation conforming to NHS standards.
  • LIFT projects have played a key role in providing modern and flexible facilities necessary to meet the diverse health and wellbeing needs of disadvantaged, ethnically-mixed and often rapidly changing populations.
  • LIFT has brought care closer to patients and integrated a greater range of services under one roof, in better environments. It has also facilitated other programmes aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles and more outpatient activity.
  • 40% of investment was in the 10% most deprived local communities.
  • In 10 years, LIFT developments provided employment opportunities for 30,000 people.
  • £1.3bn was injected into the SME sector.
  • 80% of construction spend was with local businesses.
Buildings at the Heart of the Community graphic logo
Each building is embedded in its own community

9 in every 10 LIFT projects are in areas with above average health needs.

The LIFT estate provides:

  • Quality, modern clinical space – home to over 1,300 tenants, including GP and primary care practices and 136 NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts.
  • Eight health and wellbeing centres which include leisure facilities.
  • 45 integrated centres, of which 27 include libraries and 21 have local authority services.
  • 12 community hospitals across England and the £50m Birmingham Dental Hospital and Dental School.
  • More than 900 housing units delivered through partnerships with registered providers and national house builders.
Buildings graphic
350 buildings designed, built, funded and operated through the LIFT programme

308 buildings leased by CHP providing a gross internal area of around 1million sq.m.

Property portfolio worth £2.5bn to the NHS

from only £100m public capital invested

No backlog maintenance concerns

As part of the LIFT model lifecycle delivery and costs are built in

Graphic of people shaking hands
Active and engaged public-sector partner

Pre-procured supply and access to private capital

Developed through Public Private Partnerships

LIFT companies are Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with 40% public: 60% private ownership. CHP is the 40% shareholder on all but seven LIFT companies where 10 local authorities – Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Leeds, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Nottingham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Newham – are also shareholders. 

Space (clinical and administrative) across the LIFT estates is flexible and is regularly altered to respond to commissioning plans and tenants’ needs through variations, extensions and refurbishments. CHP works with LIFT companies to deliver these for the health system.

Search our LIFT property directory to find innovative, modern and sustainable spaces for place- based patient care close to home in local communities.

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