The FM frontline

New year and new improved ways of working

From 27 February 2017, NHS Property Services will be introducing new FM Helpdesk arrangements for customers to make maintenance requests, report faults and log any service related queries.

by Chris Cunniff

By Dennis Markey, Chief Operating Officer

We are well into 2017 now, but this is my first blog of the year, so Happy New Year and I hope 2017 brings you everything you want both professionally and personally.

I started the year by bringing together colleagues from across the operational team for our annual team event. I was pleased to welcome over 60 colleagues to the two-day Operational Leadership Event in Sutton Coldfield to celebrate achievements and define and discuss objectives for the coming year.

The event was an opportunity for senior managers from Safety, FM, Construction and Service Improvement to come together and discuss the future. It was great to see the enthusiasm, motivation and team work as we worked through a variety of matters and for the first time, we also welcomed 10 of our frontline colleagues, giving us a completely new and refreshing perspective to our planning.

It’s very easy for us as managers to introduce new ways of working or new processes, without fully knowing the impact. Therefore, having our frontline colleagues there for the full two days, allowed us to understand how things were working on the frontline and recognise the challenges they face on a daily basis.

We prioritised two days to focus on both customer engagement and operational performance and we were pleased to have a variety of guest speakers, including representatives from two of our rationalised contract suppliers, Mitie and Vermatech Pest Control. Both suppliers gave an insight into the way they operate and how they have found their first year working with NHS Property Services.

Our focus over the last year has been on our FM Rationalisation Programme, which was implemented to help us professionalise our people and our services. We’re now building on the credible platform that we’ve built through that programme, by ensuring our services and people continue to grow and develop and that the customer is at the centre of all our work.

As part of this, we have recently consolidated our FM Helpdesks to four new hubs covering the whole of England. From 27 February 2017, NHS Property Services will be introducing new helpdesk arrangements for customers to make maintenance requests, report faults and log any service related queries. All customers will be made aware of their new FM Helpdesk number directly.

In my last blog I also spoke about the FACET property condition surveys that have been carried out on all the rationalised NHS Property Services buildings, with the balance of the portfolio to be completed. This is yet another area we have been concentrating resource as it will provide our people and our customers with the data they need to manage their relationships better and provide the further transparency around our buildings that we enable us to understand the needs and wants of our customers when it comes to the size and condition of the estate they are occupying

The FACET framework encompasses six aspects relating to the physical environment of properties, including internal and external building fabric, mechanical systems, electrical systems, statutory fire, health and safety compliance and functional suitability. All surveys are now complete and we are currently working through the data to help us plan maintenance work an determine where more significant capital investment will be needed over the next year. Once we’ve completed this review, we should then be in a position to share a summary of the results with our customers and tenants, so they too are aware of the condition of the buildings they occupying.

We are committed to improving the quality of our buildings and improving the information available about our sites. As part of this work, we joined forces with DisabledGo.com in 2016 to look at how accessible some of our sites are and they agreed to commence a pilot project to review 30 of our sites across the country and provide online guides that will further enhance and improve the patient’s journey.

Anna Nelson, Executive Director at DisabledGo presents Dennis Markey with a partnership plaque

After six months of partnership work with our Safety Team, I was delighted to welcome Rachel Carter, Partnerships Manager and Anna Nelson, Executive Director at DisabledGo.com to our February team meeting where they helped launch our new access guides.

DisabledGo is the leading provider of access information for disabled people in the UK and the guides they have produced for our buildings will make it easier for disabled visitors, patients and staff to find out how accessible the building they are visiting is, so they can then be confident about what they will find.

NHS Property Services Accessibility Checker is now live and to see the full list of properties covered in the guide, please visit http://www.disabledgo.com/organisations/nhs-property-services/main