The FM frontline

Impact of strategic decision making

by Jeremy Peters

By Dennis Markey, Chief Operating Officer

Decision making is the process of defining problems and choosing a course of action to help solve existing or anticipated problems. As COO I often have to make quick decisions that can have an imminent effect on staff, customers and patients.

I believe it’s important for directors working at a strategic level to regularly get out and about and see first-hand how decisions made in a planning meeting are perceived on the frontline. With this in mind, I had the pleasure of visiting York last week, where I spent two days meeting colleagues, customers and patients and got the chance to see how the challenges the area has faced over the last six months are being addressed.

“It was great to welcome Dennis and colleagues back to Yorkshire where they were able to carry out a site visit and meet with tenants who were very happy with the current service provision. The visit was very productive and it shows Dennis’s commitment to addressing issues in this area.”
– Shamim Eimaan, Service Delivery Manager & Interim ASM for Yorkshire.

As part of the visit, I met with Brent Kilmurray, Chief Operating Officer at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), the provider of mental health and learning disability services across the Vale of York. The meeting was extremely positive and echoed the collaborative approach that all colleagues within NHS Property Services and TEWV are taking. We addressed current and future ways of working and plans for a new mental health facility by 2019.

As a company, we are obviously aware of the complex issues at Bootham Park Hospital but are pleased to have recently supported the relocation of the Section 136 service and outpatient services back to the site and are continuing to work with TEWV to look at short and long-term solutions for improving the mental health estate in York

I was also in York to attend the mental health symposium coordinated by the International Mental Health Collaborating Network (IMHCN) which gave me the chance to speak with patients and personally see how small decisions can impact positively or negatively on their recovery. it’s opportunities like this that help put my role into perspective and see and understand the impact that decisions around the provision of estate and facilities can have on patients and their families.

The quality of the healthcare environment has a direct impact on how the NHS delivers care, and our patients’ experience of it. I’d therefore ask colleagues to not underestimate the decisions they make on a daily basis and try and ensure that the patient is always at the forefront of any judgment, so we can continue to create safe, efficient, sustainable and modern healthcare environments.


As always, I’m keen to hear your views on any aspect of the work we do at NHS Property Services. Please contact me and I will respond to you directly.
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