NHS Property Services drives down costs through new deals on contracts

Simon Holden

Simon Holden, Chief Executive

by Caroline Welch

NHS Property Services is leading the way in driving energy efficiencies so that savings can be ploughed back into front line care.

The company took over responsibility for the running of estates and facilities management from 161 predecessor organisations in April 2013 as part of the health reforms, bringing these functions under single specialist management for the first time.

One of the first priorities for the new organisation has been to examine the wide range of contracts inherited from the former Primary Care Trusts around the country – everything from gas and electricity to pest control – which showed some surprising variation in quality and cost.

The company is keen to use its specialist skills, size and buying power to negotiate the best deal for its NHS estate, which comprises some 4,000 properties, most of which are used for patient care, such as community hospitals and GP practices.

Savings will be ploughed back into services and NHS Property Services is already making significant headway, with some £20 million clawed back in its first stages of war on waste.

One key example is the £1.2 million saved on processing energy bills in 2013. This was achieved by ensuring as many properties as possible were transferred onto the centralised Government Procurement Service. This system means bills are grouped together and paid promptly, thereby reducing individual transaction charges.

The company has already transferred 80 per cent of its properties on to the GPS framework so far and is continuing this process at pace so savings will continue to increase in 2014.

Simon Holden, Chief Executive, said: “We inherited ways of working from 161 different predecessor organisations. As one company we can use our size to get true savings which means more money going back into the NHS. We believe there is plenty of scope for delivering best value and we are working across all our teams to deliver this.

“Our vision for the NHS estate is for it to be safe, sustainable and value for money – and these savings are one of the ways in which we are putting our vision and values into action on behalf of NHS patients.”