Published date: 10 May 2021

Partnering with an Integrated Care System (ICS) to enable estate and healthcare transformation

Devon ICS


NHSPS representatives: James Page, Regional Partnership Director (South West), Alan White (Principal Portfolio Optimisation Manager) and George Gossage (Senior Property Manager). 

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has an established relationship with the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Devon, where there are 85 NHSPS managed and owned sites.

These relationships have now developed further by working on a strategic level across the Devon Integrated Care System (ICS) area on development and optimisation projects to meet their strategy to help deliver improved primary care estates.

Customer feedback

"Devon CCG has been working with NHSPS for several years, most particularly in connection with the various community hospitals owned and managed by NHSPS. NHSPS has been very supportive throughout the Covid pandemic, helping us repurpose space as necessary to support local services and the vaccination programme. Over the last few years NHSPS has developed into being an important partner that works well with the health economy in providing effective estates solutions."

Clive Shore, Estates Adviser, Devon CCG

The challenge

Devon ICS has significant ambitions to transform healthcare in the region, with some particular challenges to reduce health inequalities across the area. There are varied challenges across the region impacting the population’s healthcare requirements, from areas of economic deprivation to an ageing population.

Estates is seen as a key enabler to resolving these challenges and helping the NHS optimise patient and workforce experience. Yet the primary care estate in this area it is of varying quality – with some inefficient, poorer quality or under-used buildings not enabling best use of NHS resources to provide optimal patient care.

The solution

NHSPS is a key partner to Devon ICS and works collaboratively to design and deliver the estate required to support transformation of the region’s healthcare. We have undertaken a review of the Devon community healthcare estate, seeking to establish strategies for each site through proactive strategic asset management.

We have taken account of the emergent clinical needs of the locality which enables us to understand whether these are long medium or short term holds. This has enabled us to right-size the estate, invest appropriately and identify opportunities to support the primary care strategy.

The impact

This partnership has enabled the NHS family to come together to deliver successful projects in the region through increased collaboration. The success of the partnership demonstrates how an aligned estate and clinical strategy can enable one another to make a positive impact to an area’s healthcare outcomes.

As of 20/21 this review across the NHSPS Devon portfolio has identified opportunities at all sites, including disposal proceeds of up to £4.7m, a floor area reduction of 4,800 sqm and annual CCG savings of c.£0.5m pa.

Key sites that demonstrate this productive partnership include:

  • Axminster Community Hospital: a capital recycling funded repurposing of former ward space to accommodate clinical services, staff wellbeing areas and spaces for social prescribing.
  • Enabling social prescribing through the repurposing of vacant space at Axminster, Whipton (Exeter) and Okehampton Community Hospital sites.
  • Supporting the NHS COVID-19 response through the repurposing of spaces for bed capacity, testing and vaccination; including Ottery St. Mary, Honiton, Okehampton, and Seaton Community Hospital sites.
  • Mount Gould Hospital: we are contributing to a review of how the space is used across the site, which includes a relatively recent addition funded through Community Health Partnerships (CHP). This initiative will inform ongoing space optimisation and the potential for the co-location of services which will contribute to better clinical outcomes.

Learn more about our work across the South West

We partner with NHS organisations across the South West to transform the NHS estate, enabling excellent patient care across the region.