NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has confirmed it unlocked £48m of savings for the NHS and £90m in capital investment into new buildings and facilities between April 2019 and April 2020, according to its newly-published annual report.
Having delivered the significant savings ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, and all of which was reinvested into the NHS, the savings helped provide critical funds to the health service at a time when it was most needed.
NHSPS, which manages over 10% of the NHS estate, is set to continue to work with partners and customers alike to further progress and drive additional savings throughout the 2020/21 financial year.
The organisation also delivered £90m worth of capital investment during the period of the new annual report, which was used to improve NHS sites including GP surgeries and hospitals across England.
These improvements were vital for the delivery of patient care, including a dedicated social prescribing hub providing space for local groups at Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre in Bromley.
Even in early 2020, at the beginning of the first Covid-19 outbreak, more than 4,000 NHSPS staff were working on the NHS front line, completing an additional 6,000 deep cleans, delivering 1,000 additional hospital beds, emergency accommodation for staff and pop-up testing sites to keep NHS staff safe and well.
Over the course of the year NHSPS has helped to drive forward key aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. This has seen the organisation leverage its estate and expertise to transform spaces into social prescribing sites, as well as launch NHS Open Space, providing communities with access to more services in local health hubs.
NHSPS has also helped drive the NHS’ aim of becoming carbon net zero by 2050, with initiatives introduced that include switching to 100% renewable electricity across the entire portfolio.
Martin Steele, Chief Executive Officer for NHS Property Services, said: “I am immensely proud of the progress we have all made to improve the lives of patients and communities across the country over the past year.
“Our teams have enabled excellent patient care by creating high quality spaces and places for healthcare, everywhere from traditional care settings through to NHS Open Space and our social prescribing sites.
“It is a testament to the enthusiasm, drive and passion of our people across the business, working together to enable excellent patient care, particularly in the time of Covid-19. This year has shown why safe, effective spaces are crucial, why talented frontline staff are so essential and the importance of reinvesting as much as possible back into the NHS.
“However, while we have made good progress, we have also set new, tough goals for ourselves to ensure we continue to deliver value for the NHS in 2020/21 and beyond. We will strive to continue to work closely with our customers to deliver local solutions and the best value possible for the NHS; locally, regionally and nationally.”
In an effort to continue the organisation’s development, NHSPS worked to improve its billing processes for customers, with many of the core areas now being delivered. However, recognising there is still work to be done in this area, NHSPS has made a firm commitment to continue its focus on billing in 2020/21.
To better reflect customers’ needs, NHSPS also saw the organisation re-align its eight geographic zones into seven regions that match those implemented by NHS England & NHS Improvement.