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NHSPS delivers £53m in cost efficiencies for the NHS during pandemic

NHS Property Services (NHSPS)’s annual report has revealed that during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic it generated £53 million in cost efficiencies for the health service.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, NHSPS – which owns and manages 10 per cent of the NHS estate – exceeded its initial target by £20 million, helping it to continue to enable excellent patient care during the peak of the crisis.

These efficiencies helped mitigate inflationary pressures on the NHS, meaning NHSPS could prioritise spending on the pandemic response and keep its charges flat at a time when other providers were increasing theirs.

In addition, there was a 20 per cent increase on capital investment, which saw improvements to NHS sites such as GP surgeries and hospitals across England. Overall, NHSPS delivered 110 transformational estate projects as part of its ‘Healthy Places’ scheme, which will benefit over two million patients and provide 100,000 square metres of improved space for the NHS. A new social prescribing programme was also launched, creating 21 more spaces in line with the goal laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan to refer at least 900,000 people to these services by 2023/24.

As part of the Covid-19 response NHSPS worked with customers and local health systems to set up 250 vaccination sites – many within days and weeks – and create additional capacity for over 1,500 beds across England between April 2020 and April 2021, and 5,000 non-clinical frontline workers played a key role, undertaking over 7,000 additional Covid-19 deep cleans in hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries and clinics to stop the spread of infection.

Martin Steele, Chief Executive Office for NHS Property Services, said: “2020 was a challenging year for everyone, both within and outside of our organisation but it has been incredible to lead an organisation that has been so committed to supporting the NHS during this difficult time.

“I’m so proud of my colleagues who have been helping to keep the NHS running throughout the pandemic, both on the frontline and behind the scenes. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support the delivery of excellent patient care during one of the most challenging periods in history.

“Through collaborating with Integrated Care Systems and local health authorities we have adapted existing buildings to support the vaccine rollout and explored how community-based health and wellbeing initiatives can be delivered locally. We have learnt important lessons that will help us to improve the health estate and ensure it is fit for patients both now and in the future. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our customers to deliver local solutions and the best value possible for the NHS at both a local and national level.”

In line with the NHS’ goal to become net zero by 2040, over the 12-month period, reducing the carbon footprint of the health estate has been a key priority. Alongside £10.6 million and 8,600 tonnes of carbon saved, initiatives have included switching the entire building portfolio to 100 per cent renewable electricity, upgrading to LED lighting and installing smart meters in properties.

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