Published date: 06 July 2022

Healthy Places Year in Review launched celebrating millions of patients benefiting from investing, upgrading, and re-using NHS estate

The recent expansion of NHS Property Services’ Healthy Places Programme has been marked with the release of its first ‘year in review.’ The report describes how the programme aims to deliver benefits to patients and service users, including:

  • Multi-million-pound investment in upgraded and new spaces, with c. 150,000sqm of improved space across the NHS estate (58,500sqm completed so far)

  • Over four million patients to benefit through our capital investment projects (two million benefitted so far)

  • A more efficient estate, with c. 80,000sqm vacant space removed for re-use or disposal, raising capital for reinvestment into priority sites across the NHS estate.

In 2021 NHS Property Services expanded its Healthy Places programme, working with customers to identify 300 projects that would help transform the NHS estate, support Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), and enable excellent patient care.  Projects ranged from refurbishments and new builds, to accommodating social prescribing initiatives, estate optimisation and the repurposing of vacant space.  

The first 2 years of the programme have delivered over 170 projects, with significant milestones met on others including the submission of a business case to support the full completion of the programme. The newly published year in review report describes some of this in more detail, and includes key statistics, regional case studies and a forward view of the next steps for the Healthy Places programme.  

Simon Taylor, Portfolio Optimisation Director at NHS Property Services leads on the Healthy Places scheme, he said: “We are thrilled to have made such fantastic progress with our NHS colleagues across the first 300 projects and are very proud to share our ‘year in review’ brochure with customers and stakeholders to celebrate this success. Healthy Places has been a real team effort so far and is a fantastic example of collaboration across the entire NHSPS business and with our customers/partners to deliver improvements for patients and the NHS workforce.  

“We are now looking forward to the next stage of the programme and placing an even greater emphasis on tackling health inequalities, supporting the levelling up agenda, and responding to NHS priorities such as community diagnostic centres and Covid-19 recovery support.” 

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Healthy Places Case Study: Whitby Hospital, North Yorks  

Completed in December 2021, Whitby Hospital in North Yorkshire has undergone a £13M upgrade. We completely stripped back and reengineered the site, including a modernization and remodelling of the existing ‘tower block’ structure in which we could then consolidate services. The new site accommodates a range of health and wellbeing services spanning dental, X-ray and ultrasound, urgent care, mental health, and an inpatient ward, as well as flexible workspaces for mobile units such as district nurses. The space we have vacated is going to become extra care housing, creating a health and social care campus on an existing North East Transformation of Whitby Hospital, North Yorkshire, creating a new health and care hub site. And we have also created a new dementia friendly garden which serves as a social prescribing hub and community space.  

“For our patients, we have a much-improved clinical environment, where we can assess, treat, and manage them, using technology that will be more readily accessible to deliver a higher quality of care. Doing that in improved surroundings will give them the confidence that we are very experienced practitioners and that is reflected in the environment we’re treating them in. For our staff, after the shock and battle of Covid-19 this is exactly what we need to revitalise and reinvigorate our services.” - Debbie Jenkins Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Social Prescribing Hubs  

As part of Healthy Places, we have developed 28 new social prescribing hubs across the country, building a national network of 50 sites, transforming vacant indoor and outdoor spaces into vibrant community hubs for voluntary and community organisations. Some examples include 

Redeveloping kitchen space at Axminster Hospital Devon, Project FOOD  

Project FOOD offers a programme of food education courses for young families and vulnerable people across Devon. To support their service, we brought void kitchen space back to life, expanding our redevelopment of the hospital to create a safe and fit for purpose space for the charity.  

Converting Lindley House, Oldham, into a community hub for young mothers  

Working with Salford Baby Bank and Shared Health Foundation, we have transformed this space into a community hub that provides practical support and guidance to young mothers and their children, and the wider community. We have created a storage and distribution area for baby parcels, and counselling/group rooms to provide counselling, breast feeding support, and other services to support mothers and children.  

About NHSPS 

We are a government-owned company which exists to help the NHS get the most from its estate and ensure that it is fit for purpose so that healthcare professionals can deliver excellent patient care. Our portfolio is one of the largest in the UK, comprising more than 3,000 properties with 7,000 tenants across England. At a total value of more than £3bn, this represents about 10% of the total NHS estate. Our properties range from listed buildings through to state-of-the-art integrated health campuses.