The deterioration of buildings that are no longer fit for purpose is probably the single biggest challenge for Estates Directors in the healthcare sector today. Recent figures put the maintenance backlog in the NHS in excess of £6bn in the 2018/2019 financial year – up by £600m from the previous year, which is sadly more than the £433m that was spent trying to ease the problem in the same year! Perhaps most concerning is the fact that around a half of the backlog is considered to be a high or significant risk and £1bn is said to be urgent.
The recent announcement by the Government that NHS funding will increase and six new hospitals are to be built should help, but the problem is not simply about the money. Maintaining and refurbishing buildings, wards, theatres and public areas in a working hospital presents a unique set of problems.
At Styles&Wood we are experts in delivering fast turnaround refurbishment projects in healthcare environments, working behind the scenes to ensure uninterrupted care for patients in NHS Trusts and private hospitals. We understand that Trusts are under pressure, that every bed counts at certain times of the year, and that losing capacity is not always an option.
However, carefully planned refurbishment will allow organisations to update their estate with minimal disruption. Our experience shows that whilst areas may be partially out of action during the refurbishment, with the correct planning, preparation, and a flexible approach to working hours – they can be updated quickly, efficiently and to a high standard without having a detrimental impact on the quality of care.
For example, during periods of high demand such as the Winter months, the impact on patients can be further minimised through the provision of temporary, high quality, modular healthcare spaces with an internal reconfiguration of utilities to ensure the continued provision of critical live services. During a recent refurbishment we created several clinical areas including laboratory facilities, procedure, transfer and recovery rooms, embryologist labs and patient bedrooms in order to ensure patient services could continue uninterrupted.
There is no doubt that these are challenging times for the healthcare sector and one solution is to transform the buildings you already have into fit for purpose and flexible spaces suitable for the healthcare needs of today and the future, completely eradicating your maintenance backlog. As part of the Extentia Group we can help you achieve this by providing a full range of services including interior design, consultancy, M&E infrastructure, furniture and fixture solutions and planned maintenance programs.