Beachcroft Wansbroughs' Leeds office is to provide legal advice to the Bradford City NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (Lift) scheme, expected to be the first of several such initiatives in the Leeds region in the coming months
Lift is a new strategy for delivering integrated care services. The aim, in support of the NHS Plan, is to refurbish or replace up to 3,000 GPs' premises and develop 500 one-stop primary care resource centres by 2004. The work comes in the wake of a strengthening of the Leeds property practice, which has recently recruited three new partners: Barney Frith and Virginia Clegg from niche property practice the Frith Partnership, where both worked for public and private sector property developers; and John Beckett from Gateley Wareing in Birmingham to manage the eight-strong commercial property team in Leeds. These hires follow the recruitment of four former Garretts partners to the Manchester office. It is the fourth Lift scheme the firm has landed out of the 12 in the initiative's second wave, the other three being Liverpool/ Sefton, East Lancashire and North Staffordshire. Capsticks and Ward Hadaway will advise on the remaining eight schemes. Each scheme brings together the local primary care trusts - frequently the bodies with statutory responsibility for primary care - local authorities, GPs, the voluntary sector and pharmacies, with a private sector partner to be identified through a competitive procurement. The resultant joint venture will have a long-term partnering agreement aiming to deliver greater investment and services in the health sector. Regional managing partner Peter Lee says: "We were keen to be involved, not only because it's attractive and there are some novel aspects to it, but because for us it's a natural development of our involvement with the NHS. "The thing that distinguishes this from PFI is that the private sector partner is to be there for life. They'll not only undertake the initial property procurement and development, but be responsible for contributing to the service development plan in the area and for procuring different types of properties when they're needed." The national team that won the instruction comprised Ian Fairbairn, Ivan Kremer, Malcolm Austwick and Elizabeth Clare-Bazin from the firm's London, Bristol and Leeds offices. The Liverpool and Bradford Lift schemes are to be managed in Leeds by Peter Lee on the commercial and health service side and David Pridmore on the property side.