Published date: 02 March 2022

Your access to smarter working: flexible working spaces with NHS Open Space

As pressures from the pandemic slowly ease, we are all embracing change and flexibility as we embark on our ‘new normal’. From an NHS property perspective, from office spaces to healthcare estate, the way we use space is changing and the estate needs to adapt to support this.

The shift to flexible working

Prior to Covid-19, attitudes towards flexible working practices varied – with some organisations having practiced agile working for years, allowing their employees to work when, where and how best suits the type of work they are doing. However, even these organisations would still traditionally be expected to enter binding contracts on any office space they wanted to maintain,  undergoing lengthy legal processes on top of fitting out and furnishing everything from scratch.

The demand for flexibility that is now driving new ways of working post Covid-19 is generating a rethink on this relationship with property, too, and many organisations are looking to get out of long-term office leases and in favour of flexible office spaces via short-term leases or licence agreements. This flexible space can help organisations adapt more quickly to changing workforce demands, shrinking and expanding their office estate as needed so they can support their employees whilst avoiding wasted costs.

This trend is as evident across the NHS as it is in other industries and organisations, and the NHS Open Space team has received multiple requests and queries on flexible working spaces.  From this we can assume that the benefits of face-to-face contact and high-quality office environments remain, but our NHS colleagues are seeking more flexibility and control on the space they use.

At NHS Open Space, we have been working to understand the demands of the people and services occupying our properties so that we can adapt and optimise our service to help meet the ever-changing and urgent demand for space.


NHS Open Space’s flexible offering

At NHS Open Space, we currently offer 1,100+ spaces across 190 sites nationwide. This includes non-clinical as we as clinical spaces, and we have over 300 non-clinical rooms such as private offices, meeting rooms, and group activity spaces. These rooms aren’t restricted to NHS or wider healthcare services, and can be used by businesses, community groups, or freelancers in need of pop-up working or meeting space. We want to create thriving community hubs by inviting a range of services to use these spaces, putting underused or vacant rooms that might not currently be needed by NHS services back to good use.

Christopher King, Principal Strategic Asset Manager at NHSPS, said: “With many NHS providers, independent and small businesses looking for more flexible property and space options post-pandemic as ways of working and operating change, we hope NHS Open Space will provide a much-needed relief on finances”.

Johnson Community Hospital

Spalding Rd, Pinchbeck, Spalding PE11 3DT

Johnson Community Hospital is a modern, purpose-built facility in Spalding. The staff are focused on providing vital patient services to the local community.


Spaces available:

  • We currently have 5 meeting rooms and 1 office room at this site, on our booking platform, available to book now.

Explore Johnson Community Hospital

Stanley Primary Care Centre

Clifford Road, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0AB

Stanley Primary Care Centre is a modern healthcare facility providing a variety of valuable services to the community. These include child development, orthoptics and respiratory services. There is also an onsite GP surgery.


 Spaces available:

  • We currently have 3 group rooms, 2 meeting rooms and 1 counselling/interview room at this site, on our booking platform, available to book now.

Explore Stanley Primary Care Centre

Let’s hear from our NHS Open Space users

“The NHS Open Space website is very easy to use. It’s great that rooms can be booked for as and when needed, and cancelled and refunded with 48 hours’ notice if not needed, giving me the flexibility, I need. The booking dashboard is well set out and makes for easy navigation around the system. NHS Open Space has made room booking an easier and more streamlined process for me and my organisation.

Throughout lockdown, we couldn’t meet with patients, so we ran sessions from home using video-conferencing tools. As my team slowly return to normal it feels great to be back in a professional environment. Not only does this provide a space that our patients can feel safe in, it has also helped me feel a sense of normality. I finally feel like I’m getting back to business as usual all while helping the NHS.”

Darren Jefferson, Treatment Unit Manager, bpas.

“NHS Open Space is a great way to find a clinic space at short notice. The website is easy to navigate and the customer service team is friendly and supportive. Staff on site have also been friendly and welcoming. All round a great experience.”

Malou Bengtsson-Wheeler, AQP Research and Development Coordinator, Hidden Hearing Limited


“The flexibility offered through NHS Open Space has really helped us throughout the pandemic. We have been completely affected by Covid-19, and Open Space means I can just pay for the time and space I need – when my patients are ready – instead of paying for longer-term rented space that I’m not really using. I would absolutely recommend NHS Open Space, and this Orpington site, to other health and wellbeing services.”

Jo, JA Medical Team

Explore our flexible working spaces

More information on John Coupland Hospital and Stanley Primary Care Centre, and services interested in booking other spaces can visit the booking platform via the NHS Open Space website. 

Explore today