Health Service Focus

24.03.17

A holistic approach is needed to tackle estate issues

Source: NHE Mar/Apr 17

Julian Amey, chief executive of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM), reflects on the challenges facing NHS estates teams.

In the Jan/Feb issue of NHE, Paul Fenton, national chairman of the Health Estates and Facilities Management Association (HefmA), explained why he thought collaboration would be the single most important factor in achieving the objectives of the Carter programme and sustainability and transformation plans (STPs). 

Following this, Julian Amey, chief executive of IHEEM, told NHE that one of the biggest challenges facing NHS estates teams in the next 12 months, which isn’t often discussed, is the skills shortage. 

“We have a lot of good people retiring with experience, and the supply chain is pretty fragile,” he said. “It is one of the things we are addressing.” 

Discussing the national drive on apprenticeships, and looking at the skills challenge in a holistic way — as the shortage in engineers is a national problem, not just limited to health — Amey said: “There is a big focus on skills and CPD, because unless you have a qualified workforce your trust and estates team will struggle.” 

The challenge is here and now, he noted, as the country doesn’t have the pipeline coming out of colleges and universities of people studying STEM subjects. However, through IHEEM’s work with the Royal Academy of Engineering, and efforts being made elsewhere, Amey believes that the tide can be turned, but “this has to be a joined-up exercise; it has to be a holistic effort”. 

Funding and STPs 

Recently, the Health Select Committee called on STPs to include an assessment of the infrastructure investment needed to ensure type 1 emergency departments – or major consultant-led A&E departments open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – are fit for purpose. 

The influential committee added that the government must ensure that there is sufficient capital funding available for trusts to develop their infrastructure. 

Reflecting on this, Amey said: “It is a no-brainer. The more funding you have available the better it is likely to be, but efficiencies have to come into the equation. 

“Post-project analysis and making sure things have worked effectively or not is of the essence. It is a no-brainer to say that with more funding we could make things much better. I think the challenge that we have is to use innovation and efficiency alongside investment; without that joined-up thinking we are not going to get the most effective result for the taxpayer.” 

Discussing the changes to NHS estates and using innovation, Amey argued that Lord Carter’s productivity report provided a very useful framework. 

“We need other parts of the industry to be working in the same direction,” he said. “The strategic plans that are being put together by March gives us this real incentive, and indeed an open door with the trusts, to get involved. I think progress is pretty good.” 

Key themes that he believes can still be addressed fall into two key categories: energy and rationalisation. 

“Over the last few years some estates have been installing combined heat and power plant to really generate change in their energy and carbon reduction,” he said, adding that more work can still be done in this area.

However, rationalisation, which Amey admitted is a very sensitive topic, is still one area that must be discussed even though it is unpopular. 

“It is very much in the public domain when your A&E is closed because it is being merged with several others in the area you live,” he said. “The press doesn’t help with this, as it is always painted in the blackest terms. The rationale for it to happen is usually not reported there. But we have to work out how we do the right things rather than being in then national press and not doing anything.” 

He added that IHEEM is also offering a web portal which highlights and compares the best practice and problem areas identified in delivering estate changes. 

Also, in April, IHEEM will be playing a key role in delivering the Hospital Innovations 2017 exhibition, which will demonstrate how innovation can be introduced rapidly into the working practice of healthcare estates and infrastructure to achieve efficiency and improved patient care. 

Lord Carter, honorary patron of IHEEM, will be giving the keynote presentation at the event, and presenting the first ‘Carter Innovation Award’ during the proceedings. At the time of publication, entry to the awards had just closed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To attend the Hospital Innovations 2017, visit:

W: www.hospital-innovations.com 

To learn more about IHEEM’s work, visit:

W: www.iheem.org.uk

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Marx to lead gross negligence manslaughter review following Bawa-Garba case

23/02/2018Marx to lead gross negligence manslaughter review following Bawa-Garba case

Dame Clare Marx is to lead a review into how manslaughter by gross negligence is applied to medical practice, spanning every step of the process fr... more >
DHSC workforce consultation will inform joint health and care strategy due in summer

23/02/2018DHSC workforce consultation will inform joint health and care strategy due in summer

A consultation focusing on the adult social care workforce has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in partnership wit... more >
Pressures ‘far from easing’ even as spring approaches

23/02/2018Pressures ‘far from easing’ even as spring approaches

Pressures on the NHS are intensifying despite the country now approaching the end of winter, NHS Providers has warned. The comments come in resp... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Trusts recognise the value of the GIRFT programme – but it must remain ‘quality first’

09/02/2018Trusts recognise the value of the GIRFT programme – but it must remain ‘quality first’

Cassandra Cameron, policy advisor at NHS Providers, says trusts must be given constructive support – without fear of failure – in order for the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme to succeed. The NHS GIRFT programme aims for better value in acute hospital and mental health care by using trusts’ clinical, operational and financial data for benchmarking and scrutiny of local performance. Along with efficiency, ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Celebrating 75 years of healthcare

14/02/2018Celebrating 75 years of healthcare

Julian Amey, chief executive of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estate Management (IHEEM), outlines what the coming year holds for ... more >
The HSIB approach to maternity investigations

14/02/2018The HSIB approach to maternity investigations

Jane Rintoul, director of strategy and policy and programme director for maternity investigations at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (... more >
Data saves lives

14/02/2018Data saves lives

Kuldeep Sohal, programme manager at Connected Yorkshire, part of Connected Health Cities, discusses how data sharing across the north is improvin... more >
Our work can help ease A&E pressures

09/02/2018Our work can help ease A&E pressures

Last year, NICE guidelines recommended that the NHS should provide more advanced paramedic practitioners (APPs) to relieve pressure on emergency ... more >
Beyond scented candles and quick fixes

07/02/2018Beyond scented candles and quick fixes

Joni Jabbal, researcher at The King’s Fund, asks why quality improvements and innovations are failing to be adopted by the NHS. There ... more >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >
Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

25/09/2017Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, knows that the health service is already a world leader when it comes to medical advances – ... more >