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Simon Stevens tells Healthcare Estates to “Gear up for Change”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, was a late addition to the programme on the opening day of Healthcare Estates in Manchester today (October 8).


The next five years look somewhat different, he told delegates, referring to the programme of hospital building and significant upgrades being kick-started by the government and funded by public money.


"You and your teams are going to be essential for us to deliver on this," he said. Healthcare is changing, and he cautioned that we are not going to want more of the same, referencing the use of technology and new thinking to deliver more radical solutions and approaches to healthcare than ever seen before.


His message to delegates was clearly: "Gear up for change."


Also speaking on the programme today, Simon Corben, Director and Head of Profession, NHS Estates and Facilities, NHS England & NHS Improvement, delivered a keynote address focusing on the importance of the NHS estate and its staff. Among Simon's key points were:


• PAM will be included in the NHS contract as a mandatory action

• The practice of tracking the cost of estate failures on clinical services is starting to gain traction and make a difference

• There needs to be a long-term pipeline for capital with a multi-year funding settlement to tackle backlog

• More efficiency gains to deliver on Carter will now entail tackling some of the more difficult issues

• Under the Health Infrastructure Plan more help will be available around developing business plans to deliver projects on time and on budget

• The E&F workforce must transform to meet the demands on buildings and services, which will require different people, with different skills, for instance, an 

analytical skill-set will be fundamental to future estates and facilities schemes.


Also from NHS England & NHS Improvement, Fiona Daly, Lead for Sustainability and Workforce, honed in on sustainability, covering the recent commitment by the government for the UK to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. As the NHS is the public sector's largest emitter of carbon, the NHS can become an exemplar and start to drive change. Among Fiona's key points were:


• It is important for all Trusts to have a Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP); there is currently still a lot of variation in the quality of these plans, which needs work but Trusts with a SDMP in place, are likely to see their CQC rating go up by 9%

• The Stretch Programme details 11 simple and basic interventions that every organisation can do to save money and reduce carbon

• Buy renewable electricity - it's a little bit more expensive, but the carbon saving is phenomenal

• Look at the use of AI in energy management - a trial is due to start and 40 healthcare sites are needed to take part across England - get in touch with Fiona if you are interested

• Aim for 100% LED lighting

• All new capital projects, including new-builds, will be expected to be net zero carbon

• The case will be put to the Spending Review for more funding to make more energy savings

• First NHS Energy Strategy now being worked on will look at data, procurement, reducing the amount we buy and renewables and innovation

• We need to ensure every person at every Trust understands what net zero carbon means.


More detail of these and other presentations will be posted on this website in the following days and a full review of the event will be published in the November/December issue of HEFMA's Pulse Magazine.