24.01.19

NHS estate: Naylor says London needs ‘special focus’ in light of findings in unpublished report on the capital

The author of the landmark Naylor Review into the NHS estate, Sir Robert Naylor, has said that NHS buildings in London need a “special focus” after he revealed the initial findings of an unfinished report into the capital’s NHS estate in Westminster today.

The Naylor Review, published in 2017, outlined how a total of £10bn would be required to properly fund and maintain the health service’s estate in the future, otherwise sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) – which are central for the Five Year Forward View – would have little chance of being delivered as facilities would remain unfit for purpose.

It also found a backlog of maintenance worth £5bn and that 18% of the NHS estate predated 1948.

However, at a Westminster Health Forum event today, Sir Robert described the findings of an unpublished report drawn up into the NHS estate in London. He revealed that 57% of “disposable” NHS estate nationally is located in the capital, despite it being home to just 13% of total land owned by the NHS.

The main findings were that the health service’s estate in London is in an especially-bad state of repair when compared to the rest of the country, and that the capital “has the biggest opportunity for land sales and the greatest need for investment,” pointing to some extreme cases of floors collapsing and surgery theatres losing power.

Naylor did however emphasise the “complexity” of the situation in London when compared to the rest of the country – which he described as “problematic” – in having to deal with more interested parties and layers of bureaucracy, such as the many borough councils and the mayor of London.

He therefore described collaborative working with mayor Sadiq Khan as “essential” and set out number of options for London, including giving the unpublished London Report a “special focus.” The unpublished report includes 20 major projects, but some of the most complex ones, according to Naylor, include Moorfields, Imperial, Brompton, and primary care.

Naylor argued that STPs must create a “coherent primary care strategy,” prioritise disposals to leverage additional funds, and continue to align service delivery strategies with estate strategies – something that was set out in the long-term plan as all STPs now have estate plans to support service plans.

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Image credit: University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

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