Frequently Asked Questions

NHS Property Services is launching a project to introduce a new and easier way for customers to use sessional space within our buildings. Below are answers to frequently asked questions for both new and existing users of our buildings.

Find out more about the pilot. Is your question not answered here? Please contact us.

Sessional space

Sessional space is clinical and non-clinical space which is available for use by multiple users on a sessional, hourly or daily basis. This means users only pay for the space and time needed and have greater flexibility and choice.

Through analysis of NHS Property Services’ (NHSPS) estate, we have identified large amounts of ‘sessional space’ across the country – almost 70,000 sq m.

Our customers have told us that easier access to sessional space will help them deliver services where and when they are needed as well as reducing operating costs through more efficient use of space.

The six-month pilot will test our solution for booking, paying, facilities management and pricing in six properties before being rolled out nationally across the NHSPS estate.

Having identified sessional space across our estate, NHSPS has identified six buildings to take part in the pilot across four locations.

These buildings have been chosen as they currently have rooms that are used as sessional space – i.e. there is no lease or agreement in place – and there is local demand for more flexible use of the space.

We are not introducing new sessional space at this stage but are changing the model we operate to book and pay for the space. 

By introducing a national, consistent model of sessional space users will see:

  • greater choice and more flexibility to book space when you require it
  • an improved, simplified experience of booking, paying for and using space in our buildings
  • improved space utilisation rates locally and nationally which will help reduce costs for the NHS
  • an open, visible and transparent system, open for all to use
Visit our room bookings website to register and book space.

Room utilisation

Improving space utilisation across the NHS estate will reduce operating costs and lower the costs of the estate. Sessional space will help the NHS to use otherwise empty or underutilised space by opening access to other users and services. 

Throughout the pilot, each room will contain a motion sensor to monitor space utilisation.  Small ‘OccupEye’ sensors will be installed which monitor the presence of people within a space but do not identify individuals.

Motion sensors are a non-intrusive, accurate way to monitor space utilisation and are used frequently throughout the public and private sectors. This will help us to fully understand how space is used, identify opportunities to improve efficiency and ensure we are providing the services our customers want.

The sensors work by sensing a combination of motion and heat. They are small, wall-mounted in rooms and will not affect daily routines or patient service and far less intrusive and disruptive than traditional methods such as ‘floor-walking’ assessments. The sensors have been used in NHSPS properties previously with no issues.

They do not:

  • Identify individuals
  • Record pictures or sounds
  • Display or reveal any confidential information – data remains completely anonymous

Rooms and equipment

Both clinical and non-clinical rooms are available for booking. During the pilot, 67 clinical and 15 non-clinical rooms will be available for booking from early April.

NHSPS has provided standard equipment in the majority of clinical and non-clinical rooms. Full details are available for each room at our bookings website.

Any equipment belonging to users will be required to be removed when the room is not booked by the user or booked by another user. NHSPS cannot be held responsible for the maintenance of users’ equipment. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.

Basic equipment belonging to NHSPS will remain in the room and continue to be maintained by NHSPS.

If your booking requires the use of heavy of specialist equipment, please speak to your property manager to discuss options.

Please contact your local property manager to discuss options available.

Payment

Sessional space is a pay-as-you-go resource which is paid for by the user (or in some instances through their commissioner). As there are no leases in place for the rooms, NHSPS will continue to charge for use of the space as is the case now.
Pricing is appropriate for the type of space, facilities available, location and demand.

Later in the pilot we will move to payment in advance of the booking and will support users in order to do this without disruption to services.

Please contact us to discuss payment options.

Existing bookings

As a current user, all existing bookings of sessional space, commencing from April 2017, will be guaranteed if these are reconfirmed using the new system. Early access to the new system will be provided to enable you to reconfirm your use of this space. This is to ensure minimal disruption and continuity of your services to the community.