23 January 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Hospitals are larger than they need to be and not using the space effectively or efficiently, delegates at a conference in London about the healthcare estate heard last week.
Dr. Matthew Bacon, chief executive of Conclude Consultancy Limited, told attendees at the Healthcare Estates Management conference, organised by the University of Salford, that if the 10 most expensive PFI hospitals built in the UK were only 15 per cent smaller, the Department of Health would have saved "the equivalent of the entire operational deficit for 2013-2014 of more than £700 million".
He said that an over-reliance on "so-called best practice and heuristic practices, formulaic standards, very poor quality data and blissful ignorance" had led to ineffective and inefficient use of these buildings.
He added that by correlating energy consumption to occupancy use, "we identify opportunities to remove excessive consumption".
Experimenting with operational policies such as the variables that impact the length of a patient's stay, and effective scheduling policies for demand and capacity management were some of the ways in which he recommended dealing with ineffective lack of space and energy management in hospitals.