The FM frontline

Connecting with stakeholders, colleagues and customers

NHS Property Services management event

by Chris Cunniff

By Dennis Markey, Chief Operating Officer

It’s  been a busy few weeks, with events, conferences and customer meetings. It was a pleasure to attend the NHS Confederation Conference where I got the chance to meet colleagues and customers and hear some great speakers talk about the future of the NHS – including our shareholder, Jeremy Hunt, who detailed NHS achievements and outlined his hopes to achieve safe, high quality care across the whole NHS system.

I was also recently invited to speak at the RICS conference; The Future of Facilities Management. I was asked to discuss the topic; ‘Clients – What can FM do for you?’ and I was delighted to illustrate my points and showcase the value that NHS Property Services adds to its customers and their patients by presenting a variety of our case studies – including; partnership working with the York health economy to improve the estate of Bootham Park Hospital, strategic estates planning in South Tees, that saved the local NHS commissioners £2m and of course, our FM rationalisation programme, to streamline and standardise FM contracts across the country, which has already realised a saving of £15m.

Following the RICS event, I was delighted to receive feedback from some of the graduates who were in the audience and were very interested in learning more about the organisation and the career opportunities available to them.

The recent NHS Property Services management event, held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre has also been a great highlight. We were delighted to welcome Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England. He told a gathering of the company’s senior managers that NHS Property Services must “get the core task right” to help the whole NHS deliver the transformation of services required over the next five to ten years.

“We want leases in place and market rents to reflect economic realities but, we’ve got to do everything we can to sustain those services. The way this is done and the insights and empathy you in NHSPS have for the pressures bearing down on general practice will be important for your reputation and for the NHS as a whole.”
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England

The event was a great opportunity to bring the whole management team together, to look at our achievements to date but also acknowledge the work we still need to do. Elaine Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer, also acknowledged that although the company is not yet “fixed”, we have greater capability than ever before and are putting in systems and processes to enable us to connect with our customers more effectively and looking to deliver strong financial results. Since inception, the company has brought down operating costs by £116 million.

The customer team has also been building on recent engagement progress and held a workshop in Manchester, with the purpose of helping to define behaviours for colleagues and customers. The feedback I’ve received on the back of the event has been remarkable. The ideas and feedback collected during the workshop will now be used in partnership with Human Resources to create measurable objectives.

Those of you that are regular readers of my blog, will be aware of my interest in social media, particularly Twitter, as an engaging tool that helps us stay connected to customers and colleagues and allows us as FM professionals to keep up-to-date with technology and new ways of working. With this in mind, I’m delighted to welcome members of my team to Twitter – Stuart Hammerton, Head of Safety (@NHSPSStuart); Alasdair White, Head of Construction (@NHSPSAlasdair) and Charles Siddons, Head of Facilities Management (@NHSPSCharles).