11 September 2017 | Finbarr Murray
The government's Naylor Report addresses key issues facing the NHS estate. Finbarr Murray explains what it means to FMs.
The Naylor report, NHS Property and Estate - Why the Estate Matters for Patients, commissioned by the government and published earlier this year, addresses the issues facing the NHS estate.
Key messages set out by Sir Robert Naylor highlight the need for significant capital investment, a huge backlog of repairs and a need for incentivisation in land value opportunities to help address these issues. The figures quoted are staggering, with the need for capital being evaluated at £10 billion, the backlog considered to be under quoted at £5bn and with opportunities in land sales proposed at £5bn. The Department of Health's own targets are focused on releasing £2bn in assets for reinvestment and for the creation of 26,000 homes on surplus NHS land.
The report sets out across 17 recommendations some key actions including improving capability and capacity, incentivising action and funding and national planning. The government has set about following through on it, with the creation of a single NHS Property organisation. But there is much debate on the recommendations. Some have called the report a plan to sell off the NHS; others have called for potential housing developments to be earmarked for NHS staff.
There are strong views on both sides and the report highlights a complex issue. The link the report makes to the Sustainable Transformation Plans generates further conflicting views with, again, arguments on both sides, seeing the STPs both positively and negatively. All this was played out the general election.
I see both sides of the argument as an FM working in the NHS and as a patient.
The key value in the report for me is that the debates are happening. I welcome this the most. There isn't an FM in the NHS who couldn't identify where they could spend more to make our environments better for staff and patients.
Finbarr Murray is director of facilities management, estates and procurement at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust