Fears have been raised over the NHS LIFT programme after it emerged that schemes in Kent had been scrapped.

A Kent NHS LIFT spokesman said a review had concluded that the schemes for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, Ashford and Maidstone should not go ahead.

The three shortlisted bidders for the scheme were: Investors in Health (Mill Group), Guildhouse and GB Primary Care (British Health Enterprise).

Partnerships for Health, the NHS LIFT delivery body, is understood to have reassured contractors that the other seven schemes in the current wave would go ahead.

It was announced last week hat the Department of Health would buy out Partnerships UK’s 50% stake in Partnerships for Health.