Published date: 15 July 2022

Securing a new Regional Hub for NHS England and NHSPS, supporting smarter working strategy

South West House, Taunton


Customers: NHS England / Improvement, Health Education England

NHSPS representatives: Graham Rossall (Senior National Office Programme Manager), George Gossage (Senior Property Manager), and James Wakeham (Principal Construction Manager)


NHS England / Improvement (NHSE/I) requested NHSPS support on its regional office strategy, looking to better enable smarter working based around key collaborative centres, supported by smaller touchdown locations. Other regional locations would be closed or reduced in occupation to support this strategy.

The strategy identified Taunton as a key location, alongside Bristol, for the South West, and NHSPS teams were tasked with creating a new hub in the area.

South West House in Taunton already accommodated NHSE/I and NHSPS teams, and was identified as the being the right size for the new collaborative centre, but had some vacant space formerly used by the Clinical Support Unit (CSU) and some underused space with Health Education England (HEE).

A break option in the lease provided an opportunity to review occupation and options for renewal or relocation, but it fell at a difficult time during the pandemic with much uncertainty over future office use and levels of occupation.


To ensure South West House was definitely the right location for this new collaborative centre, the continued occupation was tested against alternative open market options and a review of public sector opportunities. We also too the proposed merger with HEE into consideration when dealing with the underused space.

With the option of vacation at the break option, we were able to negotiate a rent free package with the landlord and this was tested via a full Options Assessment, including a full financial analysis by the E&A team, with the ‘stay-put’ option proving the most economical.

Upon confirming and securing the space, we have now been asked to manage a modest upgrade in the space to be occupied by NHSE/I, and the space is being fitted out with a new layout that will enable and encourage more collaborative work.

Alongside this work, NHSPS carried out its own smarter working review and has also identified Taunton as a key location, thus dovetailing with NHSE/I’s needs to end up with a holistic solution suitable for both parties. 


South West House now provides a simple, effective and cost efficient solution for both NHSE/I and NHSPS. It has led to the removal of 345 sq m of vacant space, and puts the whole space to best use, maximising occupation. The additional rent free period will produce over £370,000 of savings  for the NHS, and the new space will facilitate collaboration and smarter working across both organisations.

Creating Healthy Places

South West House is part of our Healthy Places programme, a national programme of transformational projects for the NHS estate.

Learn more about Healthy Places, explore our projects, and get in touch with the team. 

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