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What can NHS estates professionals offer to the productivity challenge?

Thinking about last week’s budget and the standout announcement of a planned productivity review for the NHS with a £3.4 billion capital investment on mostly digital and technology innovations to deliver a 2% per annum productivity target by 2028/29.


This is a huge ask, as the NHS has a checkered past in delivering this type of transformation at the scale required, and, as recent analysis from NHS Confederation highlighted:

“NHS capital budget needs to increase by at least £6.4 billion a year in real terms at the next Spending Review to begin to meet NHS England’s ambitious 1.5-2 per cent productivity target set out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. We have outlined in detail how decades of poor capital investment constrain overall NHS productivity. Therefore, we welcome the £3.4 billion productivity plan from 2025/26 onwards as the first step towards our overall ask”. 

So, what can NHS estates professionals offer to the productivity challenge? 


  • If teams collaborate across digital, workforce and estate they can maximise not only workforce benefits but also estate benefits.  For example, gbp consult are supporting North Central London ICB with a programme to repurpose medical records rooms across primary care sites, following digitisation of records, and in the first phase of the project the ICB created additional capacity for more than 370,000 appointments, across 20 practices, with no additional revenue impact, with a capital grant of £2.4 million.

  • To evidence “invest to save” productivity initiatives we need to quantify payback on investment over the short term e.g. less than 5 years, through a strong business case.  gbp consult have worked with clients to make the most out of the good estate they have through reconfiguring office and clinical spaces as part of a new ways of digital working programmes, which have resulted in increased capacity, estate consolidation and disposal, saving revenue. 

 

We now need to prioritise and scale these programmes up, which I appreciate is not as easy as it sounds!


Sam McCumiskey | Managing Director gbp consult



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