NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched its latest Hard Facilities Management framework agreement today, as the health sector continues to manoeuvre its way through the current climate.
This is the second in the series of the organisation's Hard Facilities Management frameworks and is engineered to account for the need within the NHS for innovative solutions, with this second version having an increased scope to include Covid-19 safety provisions and a specific emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
The annual cost of running the NHS Estate currently stands at £10.2bn, according to NHS Digital’s 2020/2021. This represents a 4% increase from 2019/2020, with the cost of managing the backlog having risen 2.2% to £9.2bn.
NHS SBS’s new and improved framework has been created with this challenge in mind and thus includes the input of NHS trusts, the wider healthcare community, and the public sector.
The framework will provide savings of up to 10% for Estate, Facilities and Capital Development teams when they purchase services through it and with a projected £800m spend over the next four years, public sector savings could equate to £80m.
The new framework agreement will run for two years initially, from April 2022 to April 2024 (with an optional two-year extension thereafter). It covers nine core aspects of NHS hard facilities management, including:
- Estates & Facilities Management Services (Integrated Waste Management Facilities, Building Management Systems, Computer-aided Facilities Management)
- Building Works and Maintenance (Measured Term Contracts)
- Power Supply, Fuel and Plant Systems
- Electrical Installations and Maintenance
- Ventilation, Air Con, Air Cleaning & Decontamination and Infection Control
- Automatic Doors, Fire Doors &Entry Management Systems
- Statutory Inspections and Rating Support Services
- Ancillary Estates Services (electrical sundries, signs, ironmongery)
- Hard FM – Managed Service
Brendan Griffin-Ryan, NHS SBS senior category manager - Estates & Facilities, said: “The management of NHS estates and facilities demands specialist expertise in areas such as strategic planning alongside comprehensive knowledge of the estate’s condition.
“Compliance, with an ever-increasing list of regulations, places further pressure on teams managing these vital services. This framework is designed to support estate managers meet these targets and provide a compliant route for reactive, planned and new installations of equipment and infrastructure.”
The new framework will also cater for some of the significant developments in the digitisation and automation of systems, such as contactless preliminary temperature screenings at entry points in hospitals and healthcare settings, which detect individuals attempting to access the building who may have elevated body temperature.
With the NHS being responsible for 4% of the entire nation’s emissions, it is therefore committed to becoming net-zero by 2040.
Griffin-Ryan added: “With an approach heavily focused on sustainability, NHS SBS’s new framework agreement ensures broader ethical environmental objectives are considered and met, tying into the strategies and ambitions detailed in NHS England’s ‘Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service’ plan.”
He concluded: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new safety and infection control challenges and led to healthcare providers having to significantly adapt to ensure they can maintain Covid-safe environments. Hence the framework’s inclusion of a range of supplier services and innovative solutions, such as touch-free entrance technology, to support the new Covid-safety requirements.”
Given 60% of the NHS’s carbon footprint occurs within the NHS Supply Chain, public procurement will be leveraged to effect progress and commencing at the start of last month NHS England extended the reach of the Government’s model to deliver social value through its commercial activities, Procurement Policy Note 06/20, to the commissioning and purchase of goods and services by NHS organisations.