After a long period of uncertainty we now know who will own the bulk of the PCT estate. Rumours have been circulating for some time that an announcement was imminent (reported in HSJ article dated 17 January regarding a leak of this announcement). The announcement was made by way of a ministerial statement from Andrew Lansley.
The Department have adopted the most straight forward solution to who should own the estate by placing ownership in just one entity rather than by way of a complex number of multiple entities - this is sensible. However there is a twist in that the entity set up to hold the property is a Limited Liability Company. This raises a number of concerns and questions as to why this form of legal entity has been used. An alternative would have been to have just transferred the property to the Department of Health under ownership of the Secretary of State.
There is a remarkable absence of reference to LIFT and who is to take ownership of the shareholding in LIFT companies and who will be the Tenant under LIFT lease arrangements. Those parties involved in LIFT urgently need comfort that the strength of covenant of the tenant will not be diminished.
We eagerly await further information on this subject which should hopefully shed light on the details and mechanics of the transfer.
The aim of creating efficiencies and achieving proper management of the estate however should be applauded.
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