1.2 million patients to benefit from improved NHS space

Improvements to space across the NHS estate over the next three years will benefit approximately 1.2m patients across England, as 100,000 sqm is refurbished and repurposed, ensuring high quality, sustainable healthcare settings that are fit for purpose.

NHS Property Services, which manages 10% of the NHS estate, has over 100 projects in the pipeline across England that have been identified as transformational for the NHS. Alongside the refurbishment of space, the projects will also see the disposal of unused space, which will release up to £150 million in savings that can be reinvested back into the health service for the delivery of frontline patient care.

As the NHS faces a backlog of more than two million operations, the money raised through the disposal of land could fund roughly 22,000 hip replacements.

NHSPS is working closely with its customers on these projects, using its national and regional expertise to solve local healthcare problems and support the delivery of Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) plans. For some localities this will see the development of brand-new facilities – such as a new a new hospital in Hythe. For others, such as Whitby Hospital, the focus will be on refurbishments, or the re-purposing of space, like Kennedy Way in Clacton.

The programme will also repurpose space to deliver projects that support the NHS’ Long Term Plan, such as social prescribing provision, which will help the health service in its drive to provide a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing. In addition, the projects will release surplus estate for around 2,000 housing units by 2023/4. This is in addition to the 4,000 that have already been released to support housing targets.

Simon Taylor, Head of Portfolio Optimisation, NHS Property Services said: “At a time when the NHS is facing challenges never seen before, these projects will be integral in helping to support the health service moving forwards. By using the estate more efficiently, over the coming years we can provide better quality spaces for the provision of healthcare, which will improve patients’ experience, as well as create better environments for healthcare professionals to deliver care.

“Across all of our projects we are working in partnership with local and regional NHS teams to understand their priorities and how we can develop and deliver solutions together, so everyone gets the best possible care now, and in the future. Using our knowledge and experience of working with NHS teams across the country, we have also, importantly, been able to help share learnings and scale-up best practice that already exists within the health service.”

Examples of the projects implemented include:

  • Hythe & Dibden War Memorial Hospital: This new build project will provide a range of health and wellbeing services for local people including outpatients, therapy and diagnostic services as well as specialist community dentistry. It was chosen over the alternative of refurbishing existing buildings as it will mean a better environment for patients and staff and a smaller carbon footprint, as well as releasing surplus land for disposal and generating funds to reinvest into the NHS.  
  • Kennedy House, Clacton: The scheme will see two GP practices - Clacton’s Epping Close Surgery and Holland-on-Sea’s Frinton Road Medical Centre - move into refurbished space at Kennedy House, in Kennedy Way. The surgeries currently have a total of almost 9,000 patients, but the new facility could support 12,000 patients, with the creation of eight consulting rooms, seven treatment rooms, a phlebotomy room and a digital facility.
  • Whitby Hospital: Whitby Hospital in North Yorkshire is undergoing an upgrading process as part of a £13m scheme that will see the modernisation and remodelling of the ‘tower block’ structure on the Springhill hospital site, and the consolidation of clinical service and support services within this. On completion of the redevelopment project, the Whitby Hospital will be fit for purpose, financially sustainable for the future and will offer a high-quality environment for patients and meet the needs of the local community.


[1] This statistic has been calculated using the Premises Maxima size schedule, and is based on the upgrade of 100,000sqm of space refurbished across the system, assuming 800sqm of space is need to serve 10,000 patients

[1] Based on disposal costs of £153,000,000 Department of Health and Social Care. (2016). Reference Costs 2015-16. Department of Health and Social Care. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/577083/Reference_Costs_2015-16.pdf [Last accessed: September]

[1] Waiting times worst on record. Royal College of Surgeons: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/waiting-times-worst-on-record/ [Last accessed: September]