The Department of Health has issued a list of partners that PCTs will be able work with to build new and modernise existing GPs' surgeries, health centres and walk-in centres more quickly and cheaply.
The seven partners are the successful bidders for the Express LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) framework.
Around half of PCTs in England use LIFT to build new and update existing medical facilities. LIFT enables PCTs and local authorities to develop new capital schemes faster than traditional procurement methods and provides a framework for long-term partnership between the public sector and private sector developers.
Express LIFT aims to accelerate this process, offering PCTs and local authorities who have not yet conducted their own procurement, the opportunity to select a pre-approved LIFT partner more quickly and cost effectively from the list. Local procurements from the Express LIFT framework can be completed within three or four months as opposed to the current two years.
Under Express LIFT, neither the bidder nor the PCT will need to engage in expensive design work prior to the establishment of a LIFT company. It will reduce the cost of wasted bids, which will ultimately benefit the taxpayer.
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "The successful companies approved on the Express LIFT framework today 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 PCTs 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."
The seven approved LIFT partners are:
- Community Solutions for Primary Care
- Express LIFT Investments Limited
- Equity Solutions
- Eric Wright Group
- Fulcrum Infrastructure Group
- Odyssey Healthcare
- Prime Plc