Are we seeing an end to the era of the big Private Finance Initiative hospital?
We are doing 151 new hospitals, mainly through PFI. But there are a finite number of those big ones that you can do. PFI will still be a major weapon in the armoury for those big major infrastructure projects. It is just that we have done quite a lot of them. But PFI is not going to disappear, although the number of schemes in the pipeline is lower than five of six years ago.
What trends can we expect in healthcare building in 2008?
There has been a shift of more activity into primary and community care over the last couple of years. Health economies are looking at what that means. The Darzi Review that is coming up in May/June will be very important in implementing that direction of travel. We have done a lot in the acute sector but, quite rightly, the pendulum is focussing very much on primary and community care.
There are a number of weapons in the armoury to achieve investment there. Lift has been one of the success stories of leveraging in significant investment, £1.3 billion, into primary and community care.
What about social enterprise?
Social enterprise was highlighted in a number of different reports from the Treasury and Department of Health. The key one for health was ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’. Early in 2006 that announced that a £73 million social enterprise fund would be set up for small local businesses to bid against to deliver health and social care to NHS patients.
There are examples of those dotted around the country. There are 26 pathfinders and we had another wave of applications for non-pathfinders, we had 190 applications and 42 of those are still live. We are deciding where that investment should be and how much you invest.
Another new way of delivering may be community ventures. What are they?
Community ventures are something we have been working through with six sites around the country. We’ve got an idea and we now have to take that to the Treasury and ensure that they are happy with it. Watch this space.