17 June 2015, National

Department of Health release local estates strategy document

Achieving the efficiencies required by the Five Year Forward View will mean all parts of the health service will need to work with greater agility and greater co-operation.

Local Estates Forums will be key to developing a robust understanding of available estate

Good quality strategic estates planning is vital to making the most of these changes and will allow the NHS to:

  • Fully rationalise its estate
  • Maximise use of facilities
  • Deliver value for money
  • Enhance patients’ experiences.

Expert strategic estates advice now available

To support commissioners, strategic estates advice is now available from Community Health Partnerships (CHP) Strategic Estates Planning (SEP) Team and NHS Property Services (NHS PS) to guide and co-ordinate development of the commissioner-led strategies.

Local Estates Strategies: breaking down barriers

Local estates strategies have the potential to support commissioners as they develop new models of care quickly, and start to dissolve the historic divide between primary, community care and hospitals, including those delivering secondary and tertiary care.

Dr Sue O'Connell, CHP Chief Executive commented: "We’ve seen, time and again, how it really is possible to change the health care estate for the better, to divert finances from property to patient care by driving out inefficiency, and to improve facilities and utilisation of those facilities.

"We know that with the right strategic planning and management the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View can be turned into a reality."

In order to realise these benefits, commissioners should produce high quality local estates strategies in collaboration with a wide range of local stakeholders (including the wider public estate).

Local Estate Forums: understanding available estate and aligning it to commissioning intentions

The formation of a Local Estates Forum (LEF) will be key to developing a sufficiently robust understanding of the available estate and aligning it to commissioning intentions to extract maximum value from NHS resources and reduce wastage. 

It is vital that service and estates planning are integrated to ensure that the best estate is available to deliver the best healthcare services and make wise, well founded investment decisions. In this way, best use can be made of existing property, new estate can be developed to meet service needs and surplus estate can be sold.

By the end of December 2015, the majority of CCGs should have plans in place that cover primary and community care estate and non-clinical estate.

The Department of Health Guidance

www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-estates-strategies-a-framework-for-commissioners

CHP/NHS Property Services

Making the most of NHS buildings and land

It really is possible to change the health care estate for the better; diverting finances from property to patient care and to improve facilities and utilisation of those facilities.

CHP Chief Executive, Dr Sue O'Connell