We are actively working with customers regarding the recent cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and have developed precautions and guidance to support our occupiers in managing the infection at our buildings.

Page last updated Wednesday 10 June 2020

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Reoccupying space in our buildings

Following the government’s recent announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions, a series of guidelines have been issued to ensure that where organisations are returning they do so in a safe and consistent manner.

NHS Property Services is an important partner in how you approach reopening your building and ensuring this is done safely. We want to support our customers as best we can over the coming months and so have produced guidance which is now available to download:

• Guidance document for customers planning to return to an NHSPS building – download a copy
• Risk assessment checklist – download a copy

Want more information? One Wednesday 10 June, we hosted a one-hour webinar to take you through how we can support you in reoccupying one of our buildings, and then senior leaders from NHSPS answered questions from the audience. Watch the recording here.

Do you plan to reoccupy an empty building?

Please advise us if you are intending to reoccupy a currently vacated building - either in part of in full - as soon as possible. Please log your request with our Customer Support Centre on 0800 085 3015 or customer.service@property.nhs.uk 

It is essential we have time to ensure the building is safe, fully prepared for your reoccupation and that we are able to complete all the checks required to provide a smooth return for your people. If you have specific requirements, such as reopening only part of a building, we can help advise on the best way to do this.

Helping the NHS: our guiding principles

Like many other organisations across the country and in all sectors, we are having to make difficult decisions about how best to support customers, patients and our people. We’re working to support the NHS in whatever way we can, locally and nationally alongside colleagues in NHS England and Improvement and our suppliers.

Our facilities services teams have received general health and safety and personal hygiene guidance, including good handwashing routines and cleaning regimes. Our teams are suitably prepared to provide support to customers (such as through cleaning and decontamination services) if you are monitoring a patient with a suspected case of COVID-19 in one of our facilities.

To reduce the risk of spreading the virus on your site, please follow NHS England’s guidance on infection control and prevention and refer to Public Health England’s guidance.

Our focus remains on keeping buildings safe and enabling patient care but unfortunately, we’re not able to service every request we receive. We are prioritising resources and other requests to be able to deliver where needed most and to do so for longer.

Our guiding principles during this time are:

  • Existing commitments: we are committed to service our existing customers as priority across our facilities management and asset management services. This will help us to focus our efforts on delivering essential work, safely.
  • Additional requests: where able to, we are helping more parts of the NHS with extra requests (such as cleaning) and will monitor these according to demand and resources available. This may change as we progress with the effects of the pandemic and we will continuously monitor our ability to support more of the NHS.
  • Working nationally: we have a national role, working alongside NHSE/I and we’re supporting STPs and ICSs with space to meet new demands, such as by freeing up vacant space for clinical use.

We ask that you speak to your local contact where there are special requests and we will do our best to review these as quickly as possible.

Supporting our customers: how we’re responding

With these principles in mind, we have made some important changes to how we operate so we can continue to deliver services where they are needed most. We will continuously review these and communicate to you again if more changes are needed.

  1. Resourcing: we are prioritising resource requests. Like all organisations, we are experiencing challenges with resourcing as our people are required to self-isolate. To manage this challenge, we have established a specialist resourcing team to oversee resources locally and nationally; and we’re working with our suppliers to ensure we have resources available.
  2. Repurposing space to support clinical needs: our specialist strategic asset management teams are helping to repurpose space, recommission vacant space and reconfigure sites. This has already created hundreds of extra beds in the system (learn more with our infographic). In particular, we are keen to help with solutions to accommodate ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ sites and plan for the estate changes these will require – please contact your regional team or get in touch via our Customer Support Centre on 0800 085 3015 or customer.service@property.nhs.uk at the earliest opportunity to ensure we have the best chance to support your need.
  3. Safety as priority: we’re reviewing the services we deliver to make sure we comply with government guidance and reduce unnecessary risk wherever possible. Construction and refurbishment sites are likely to stop works to safeguard customers, colleagues and patients. Some sites may continue, especially where there will be extra clinical capacity created. We are reviewing on a project by project basis in full liaison with customers to arrive at a mutually agreed decision. We’re working with suppliers to ensure our staff have the right equipment and PPE.
  4. Supporting colleagues and the community: in line with government policy, our car parks will be free to use for NHS staff. We’ve introduced wellbeing support to help our people work safely. I’m delighted to see many in our organisation have joined the NHS Volunteers scheme, as well as our own volunteer programme ‘Helping Hands’. And we are recognising the work of our people

When to contact us

Please contact us via our FM helpdesk on 0808 196 2045 for the following:

  • to report an emergency or urgent FM issue
  • to notify us of positive cases of COVID-19 at one of our buildings. We ask that you inform our reception colleagues of any procedures you have introduced to deal with patients who attend with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • to notify us of any segregation/cohort areas of in-patient treatment established in one of our buildings, so we can effectively plan resources to support this.
  • if you require assistance with repurposing space to better support clinical needs

If you are a customer of NHS Property Services and have not received our updates through email or post, please contact our Customer Support Centre to register for updates.