Key themes covering progress against the NHS Five Year Forward View, the impact of Strategic Estate Planning and an update on the government’s One Public Estate initiative, took centre stage at the NHS Property 2015: 2020 and beyond conference in London this week.
Just over a year since the launch of this flagship policy, a panel of estate experts chaired by Professor Duane Passman, Director of 3Ts, at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and including Simon Wootton, Chief Operating Officer, North Manchester CCG, Dave Sweeney, Director of Transformation at NHS Halton CCG Halton Borough Council, Antek Lejk, Community Health Partnerships (CHP) Executive Director and Strategic Estate Planning Lead and John Westwood, Director of Asset Management at NHS Property Services, discussed progress achieved across the £30 billion health estate.
Summarising the debate, Prof Passman said: “Things are beginning to move gradually in the right direction, but with austerity likely to be a factor for the next five years, we need to make sure there is good engagement and continuity across the public sector.
“Strong leadership and direction is also essential and needs the full-throated support of all parties to make sure a can-do and will-do mentality is maintained through to delivery,” he added.
In a joint presentation with sister company NHS property Services, Clive Shore, CHP’s SEP Implementation Director, said: “We’ve made a good start with the SEP process, with very encouraging levels of local engagement, but the really hard work starts next year. To use a sporting analogy, we’ve finished one circuit of the Grand National but still have the second to complete.”
Among 10 emerging themes from the SEP process is the belief that a 20% plus reduction in the cost of the health estate is achievable; that CCGs and multiple stakeholders are actively interested and engaged with the process; there is under-utilisation in the clinical estate; and that more broadly, the NHS should take a far more aggressive, commercial approach to leasehold opportunities.
Successful bidders for a share of the £6 million Phase Three One Public Estate fund will be announced after the government Spending Review at the end of November.
Angela Harrowing from the Government Property Unit told delegates that bids had been received from 29 Partnerships representing 126 councils, 35 CCGs, 50 Trusts and over 100 wider public sector partners. CHP strategic estates advisers are working closely with a number of the bids.
The one-day event at London’s QE11 Centre, supported by CHP and NHS Property Services, brought together more than 200 of the most influential people working in the sector, including policy and decision makers from Trusts, CCGs, GPs, Department of Health, Local Government Association, Government Property Unit, CHP, NHS Property Services and many others.
Things are beginning to move gradually in the right direction, but we need to make sure there is good engagement and continuity across the public sector.Professor Duane Passman, Director of 3Ts, at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals