Improving space utilisation

Optimising the primary case estate is more important now than ever, with the NHS Long Term Plan emphasising its importance in moving health and social care closer to communities and reducing pressure on acute care centres.

By optimising the NHS Property Services estate - which makes up the majority of the country’s primary care estate - we are supporting this ambition, helping the NHS get the most from its estate and creating healthy places for communities. This will help enable excellent patient care and better healthcare outcomes for all, creating a fit for purpose NHS now and in the future.

So far, our efforts to optimise the NHS estate have delivered:

£502m raised for the NHS through disposal of unwanted assets


raised for the NHS through disposal of unwanted assets

£907m capital investment to improve the NHS estate


capital investment to improve the NHS estate

1,120+ NHS Open Space rooms available to book


NHS Open Space rooms available to book

Building space management solutions

Since 2013 we have been working with NHS partners across the country to make better use of NHS space, and through this we recognise the challenges organisations face in their estate management.

From building a clear picture of how the estate is being used, to securing funding, to implementing solutions, we offer property and facilities management expertise to help our customers make informed decisions and get the most out of their space.

Solutions for better space management

We then collaborate with our customers to create practical, tailored and innovative property solutions, reimagining the NHS estate to best serve patient needs.

These solutions include identifying and repurposing vacant space; reconfiguring and refurbishing space; introducing flexible room booking via NHS Open Space; identifying opportunities for lease negotiation and consolidation; and generating capital for reinvestment via disposals or working with developers. 

Learn more about our estates strategy

NHS space, made flexible: NHS Open Space

The way that the NHS space is used is changing. Some healthcare services are moving away from traditional hospital settings and moving closer to communities. This means that we need a more flexible approach to managing space, so that services can book the space they need, when they need it.

NHS Open Space provides access to clinical and non-clinical rooms from partners across the NHS. Health, wellbeing and community services can book flexible and affordable rooms across England on an hourly, sessional or daily basis. It’s pay as you go, so you only pay for the time and space you need, no lease required.

Explore NHS Open Space

Guide to optimising the NHS Estate

What do we mean by estate optimisation, what options are available, and what questions should you be asking as you start an optimisation project?

In this customer guide we walk through our approach to estate optimisation projects, showcase some examples of our success, and offer 'top tips' for your own projects. 

Read the guide
people in a boardroom look toward the presenter smiling

How can we work together to make better use of NHS space?

Explore our interactive infographic to learn how we can work together to reimagine and optimise NHS space. 

Let’s take a look at the NHSPS teams and programmes supporting our customers in optimising their use of space.

Handing back unused space

Our Vacant Space Handback Scheme enables Commissioners to pass on the liability for eligible space to NHSPS and cut the cost of empty space in their buildings.

NHSPS teams then use their property expertise to repurpose the space, either via re-letting, selling or developing, aiming to maximise value for the NHS, with any savings or new revenue reinvested into the NHS estate.

Learn more about our Vacant Handback Scheme

Flexible room booking

NHS Open Space brings technology to NHS estate management by offering flexible booking of clinical and non-clinical space via a web-based booking platform.

For services (NHS and beyond) looking for sessional space within NHS buildings this offers greater flexibility and choice, and the enhanced usage data can support Commissioners in their estate management decisions.

Learn more about NHS Open Space

Creating space for smarter working

The NHS estate goes beyond clinical space, and our National Office Programme helps identify opportunities to better manage office space (via rationalisation, relocation) as well as developing improved, agile and modern working environments. Beyond the NHSPS office portfolio we also help and consult for the wider NHS and public sector

Learn more about our National Office Programme

Clarify your occupancy

An occupancy agreement helps us and you to better understand how buildings are being used, which then provides clarity on rights and obligations, simplifies and clarifies your bills, and supports better space management.

Learn more about signing an occupancy agreement with us

Log a job in your building

Running our buildings safely and efficiently is crucial, and we rely on you raising any issues you spot via CORE - our new computer assisted facilities management system – or our FM helpdesk, through which we’re working hard to streamline how we capture, track and deal with issues.

Get in touch with our FM team.

Keep us up to date with changes to your occupancy

If you’re planning to change how you use your space – for example clinical to non-clinical, or expanding or reducing the space you occupy – please let us know at least three months in advance via our online form.

This helps NHSPS to support you with your health and safety compliance and make sure that you are billed the correct amount.

Let us know about an upcoming change to your occupancy

How can we work together to better use NHS space? We’re keen to hear from you, so please reach out via or 0800 085 3015.