Keeping public buildings safe by managing private finance initiative (PFI) contracts

Public buildings, including hospitals, schools, academies and blue light service buildings worth more than £60 billion, are currently maintained by private companies through private finance initiative (PFI) contracts.

PFI contracts typically run for 25 years and it’s vital that safety, compliance and building conditions are properly considered and managed at every stage. As the contract nears its completion it’s important that the transition of ownership is well managed to avoid disputes and problems.

Over the next decade around 200 PFI contracts will end, meaning that the buildings will transfer back to the public sector, which will once again be responsible for all ongoing safety, maintenance, and repairs.

Our expert surveyors provide tailored support throughout the lifecycle of your PFI contract, supporting you to ensure buildings are safe and compliant. We also help you to prepare for taking back your property assets, and the subsequent maintenance and management of these to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

£200 million

The value of critical repairs we’ve identified and are helping NHS to secure remediation

How we can help


Supporting you throughout the PFI contract

Our team of expert surveyors can work alongside your organisation at every stage of the PFI contract, ensuring that buildings are safe, maintained to compliant standards and in good condition throughout the duration of your PFI contract.

If found lacking, we’ll help you to recoup costs or get the necessary remedial works completed.


Preparing you for taking back property assets

As your contract ends, we can help you to prepare for the hand back of property assets.

We’ll ensure that they’re in optimum condition to eliminate future risks and avoiding financial losses from the public purse.


Helping you to manage and maintain your buildings

Once you’ve taken on responsibility for the buildings, we can be on-hand to work alongside your in-house team and provide the capacity and expertise you need to ensure that buildings remain fit for purpose and in good condition. Together, we’ll make sure that the buildings can be safely used by the public, staff and visitors.

How we work


We survey all works completed by the PFI provider to reassure you, your commissioners and regulators that the premises and associated services are safety compliant and meeting legislative standards.


We will check that your PFI provider has completed all required maintenance, improvements and property replacements, throughout the life of the contract to ensure public safety and prevent financial losses to the your organisation.


As you approach the end of your PFI contract, we can work with your team to reduce any associated risks and costs of taking back the property assets from the PFI provider. We estimate this process should begin seven years before the contract ends.


We will provide ongoing property maintenance and management to help you to continue to keep your buildings safe post PFI contract handback.

Following Capita’s survey of a PFI building to identify fire safety and other concerns, we relied on Capita’s advice and expertise in complex discussions with stakeholders and the Fire Authority to ensure the rectification works were adequate and complete.

Neil Priestley, Chief Finance Officer, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Capita has supported us through a difficult, complicated process in achieving fire compliance assurances from the PFI companies. Capita’s dedication, expertise, support and passion has been found at every corner along the journey so far.

PFI Contract and Performance Manager, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

If you would like to find out more about our service or arrange a sample survey

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