Sustainable management of IT resources makes NHS savings

by Chris Cunniff

Efficient and proactive management of IT resources within NHS Property Services has led to significant savings for the company and the wider NHS.

NHS Property Services was established in April 2013 by the Department of Health as part of the government’s reforms of the NHS.  The company was created to provide strategic estates management and facilities support services to a number of properties which were inherited from former Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs). As part of these reforms, over 3000 staff transferred into NHS Property Services from the abolished PCTs. These staff TUPEd into the company with equipment they had used in their previous role, resulting in NHS Property Services inheriting an assortment of IT equipment.

From the very early days, the company’s Information Management & Technology (IM&T) team have worked to ensure that sustainability is fundamental to their way of working, implementing a strategy to Innovate, Reuse and Recycle equipment across the company.

In the North Region of NHS Property Services there are now over 1,200 staff, 700 of which have regular access to IT systems and more of which use mobile technology daily. Ensuring that all these staff, across a huge geographic area have access to reliable and efficient IT equipment has been a challenging but successful scheme for the regional IM&T Team.

Danny Bolton, North Regional Head of IM&T and his colleagues have followed the sustainable strategy for recycling and redistributing existing assets and have managed to avoid purchasing a large amount of new equipment, resulting in considerable savings.

Danny said: “A small proportion of IT assets were purchased by NHS Property Services in the early days of the organisation to outfit new offices and support new employees who did not TUPE into the organisation, but most of the computer technology used by staff in the region today was inherited from former NHS organisations.

“By reusing our inherited assets, we’ve ensured that any previous NHS money has not been wasted and have avoided further costs of over £42,000.”

The team has rebuilt and redeployed inherited laptops, smartphones and tablets to various staff within the region, enabling those colleagues to carry out their roles efficiently and provide effective facilities management and asset management services across a huge diverse landscape, whilst staying connected to their colleagues and customers.

Justin Cunningham, Regional Director (North) added: “This is fantastic work by the North Region IM&T Team and I’d like to thank them for their continuous hard work.

“They are continuing to improve things further and have recently implemented a contract to dispose of IT equipment which has reached the end of its useful life.  This has been setup as a free collection service, which actually pays NHS Property Services for any equipment which can be further utilised by the recycling company down the line.

“This new contract and all the excellent work the team has done supports the company’s Sustainable Development Management Plan where one of our pledges is to be an ethical procurer and consider the life cycle of all goods that are acquired by the company.

“This is an excellent example of us setting sustainability standards, whilst being able to save money which can be reinvested back into the NHS estate and patient care.”