NHS Property Services have enhanced their Open Space service by launching a new booking website. This will mean that customers hiring clinical and non-clinical spaces will be able to do so as and when they need it, on an hourly or daily basis, much easier.
Some of the benefits of the service include ensuring that the NHS estate is utilised to its maximum potential, earning money for the NHS, while saving money for local healthcare and wellbeing providers.
It allows anyone already registered and approved to book and use a room from the NHS estate for wellbeing, GP consults and even procedures. The room types available vary, from clinical space and activity rooms, to meeting rooms and offices, offering healthcare providers a flexible and affordable way to bring new services into local communities. This also helps customers deliver the best patient care.
The new booking system makes it possible for service users to view detailed information about rooms, check availability, book, pay and manage the booking with ease. This is thought to help health and wellbeing services to:
- Search faster: Find what properties and rooms are available with a simpler home page, improve search and filter functions, and provide a new map view.
- Explore spaces in more detail: Access more information on the room set up, facilities and pricing, and easily see availability for single or multiple rooms across any date.
- Make quick and complex bookings: Add rooms with one click, and manage complex bookings including reoccurring bookings with a new advanced booking tool.
- Manage your bookings: A revamped ‘My Account’ area offers easy access to all the information needed to manage bookings, invoices, credit notes and account access.
- Work on the go: Optimised design for both desktop and mobile, to allow searching, and make managing bookings, easier to do at the most suitable time.
Christopher King, Principal Strategic Asset Manager at NHS Property Services, commented: “The potential for NHS Open Space to transform the NHS estate has become ever more apparent during Covid-19, as services seek flexibility and visibility over how space is used.
“The intuitive booking system means that users only pay for the time and space they need, which could provide much-needed relief on finances for independent and small businesses in the midst of the pandemic. It also makes better use of the NHS estate, driving money back into the health service at a critical time.
“I’m excited to see NHS Open Space grow and evolve in the coming year, with plans to expand rapidly across the NHS Property Services portfolio in 2021.”
NHS Property Services have already received positive feedback on the initiative from local GP’s who are now able to offer extended wellbeing services to the community – and from community members whose lives have benefited through the addition of new healthcare services, which were previously unavailable.
The booking platform first launched in 2019, and following customer feedback on making the process as simple and streamlined as possible, NHS Property Services embedded into the new website design, making it more intuitive and flexible to customer needs. The service currently offers 700+ rooms across 100 sites nationwide and is due to expand rapidly in the next year.
Norma Lawrence, Receptionist at Birmingham Soho Surgery, said: “Before NHS Open Space came along, I used to use Outlook calendar for booking rooms. There are a lot of customers who book the space months, even years in advance. Since we’ve offered NHS Open Space, I have noticed we get bookings from new customers too, allowing our surgery to provide more services to the local community.
“We have services using the spaces including flu jab, well-baby clinics, family planning, speech therapy, nutrition, district nurse, diabetic clinic, ultrasounds, phlebotomy and many more. I take great pride in my workplace and the amount of space we have available to nurses and doctors means they can effectively do their jobs and help the wider community.”