Section 4: Public-Private Partnerships
39.This section will insert a new section 96C into the 1977 Act to provide for the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales to participate in public-private partnerships with companies that provide facilities or services to persons or bodies carrying out NHS functions. As with various other powers of the Secretary of State under the 1977 Act, these new powers could be delegated to Health Authorities, and through them to Primary Care Trusts, and to Special Health Authorities. The intended first use of this new power is the establishment of NHS LIFT (NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust) which will be set up to invest in primary care premises.
40.Subsection (1) of the new section 96C provides for the Secretary of State to form or participate in forming companies to provide facilities or services to:
any person or body providing services, or exercising functions, under the 1977 Act;
NHS trusts (which exercise functions under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990).
41.Subsection (2) provides that the Secretary of State may invest in companies providing such facilities or services or provide loans or guarantees or make other financial provision.
42.Subsection (3) provides that the powers are exercisable irrespective of whether the company also provides facilities or services to other persons or bodies or to persons or bodies, for example pharmacists, whose activities are not solely confined to the NHS.
43.Subsection (5) makes it clear that the inclusion of section 96C is without prejudice to any other powers of the Secretary of State.