Westminster Health Forum 2020 – Optimising the NHS Estate
19th March 2020
DO-NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION
The need for Trusts to develop coherent, aligned clinical and estate strategies is now an imperative, but you don’t need to appoint one of the ‘Big 4’ consultants, says Bally Kalsi of K2 Consultancy.
There are exciting but challenging times ahead for the NHS to design, procure and deliver fit for purpose, flexible, integrated healthcare facilities for the next 70 years and beyond. Political commitment and significant capital investment puts ownership and pressure on Trusts to have in place developed estate strategies to ensure that targeted capital investment delivers value for money. A real focus on strategic planning, based on intelligent data, is required rather than reactive, isolated solutions to issues here and now. Alignment between clinical and estates strategies is imperative. No longer is the ‘do-nothing option’ on the table! Prioritisation of needs will be essential and require strong management skills within the NHS.
The NHS has acknowledged a lack of skills within the organisation to deliver transformation programmes and made a commitment to use experts to support planning, estate strategies and development – and as many have said, you don’t have to use one of the big 4 consultancies!
Before embarking on new development 24/7 working, flexible working and digitalisation are all considerations to ensure NHS assets are optimised before we start building new. Seed funding provides a great opportunity to develop estate strategies and gather intelligence for individual Trusts to inform plans. Challenge the norm and take learnings from health models nationally and internationally. Consider how existing space is shared between services, departments and divisions and focus on step changes to break down cultural behaviours to allow optimisation of future space. Not every problem requires a construction led solution and vast amounts of capital.
Develop relationships and trust with senior clinicians and managers and provide an independent view. Share learnings and generate valuable information to enable management decisions before procuring large project teams and incurring unnecessary costs which increases the pressure to make prompt decisions. Time is essential to allow the development and communication of strategic plans amongst a vast number of stakeholders. Going back to basics, starting from the shop floor to understand today’s challenges is where we need to start.
Future solutions need to consider the patient journey and the wellbeing and requirements of NHS staff to retain and encourage future generations to work within the NHS and allow the estate to change to reflect the needs of the ageing population.
Bally Kalsi is a Senior Project Manager at K2 Consultancy. She has over 20 years’ consultancy experience, most recently in healthcare. Bally is an expert in developing strategic plans and business cases, delivering complex transformational capital projects and managing multiple stakeholders in complex operational environments. She is highly effective at influencing step change within large multifaceted organisations and before working in healthcare she developed masterplans and estate strategies for Heathrow Airport.
K2 Consultancy has supported the development of NHS estates strategies for a variety of Trusts.
Senior Project Manager