Giving a keynote on the first morning of the IHEEM Wales Regional Conference, Stuart Douglas, Director, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Specialist Estates Services, set out some of the priorities and challenges for those working in healthcare engineering and estate management roles across the Welsh NHS.
These – he said – included collating, analysing, and acting upon, accurate, up-to-date information on the estate’s condition and utilisation, identifying further decarbonisation opportunities, and rationalising and centralising services where this improves efficiency and patient experience. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports
Stuart Douglas’s presentation on 11 May followed two preceding keynotes by Judith Paget CBE, Director General of Health and Social Services, and CEO, NHS Wales (see pages 34-36), and Nicola Pyygodidcz, CEO at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. He began: “I’m delighted to follow Judith and Nicola in speaking to you today, and look forward to sharing with you some thoughts on the challenges we face in managing the NHS estate in Wales. There are, of course, a whole host of such challenges – but I’m going to pick three, picking up on some of the points made by Judith and Nicola earlier.” The three ‘challenges’ the speaker then focused on were:
Stuart Douglas said: “If we look at the first of the three, ‘Managing today’s estate’, I was quite struck this year that we operate from two million square metres of floor area across Wales, which is huge, and all needs to be heated, ventilated, maintained cleaned, and serviced. Within this, we now have a maintenance backlog of over £1 bn (excluding the impact of RAAC) . People have been surprised by this figure, but for me, particularly, the fact that £650 m of this is ‘high’ and ‘significant’ risk maintenance is the biggest concern.” If this category was not ‘arrested’, Stuart Douglas warned, Wales’s healthcare estate would deteriorate ‘at an accelerating rate’. He told delegates: “In response to these challenges – I’m going to use a sailing term – I suggest that we use navigation aids. When you go to sea it’s essential to know where you are, and what the destination is. I’d like to see if we need to look at the aids to navigating the challenge to the existing estate.” He continued: “Having the immense privilege of working across Wales, the backlog doesn’t surprise me, but looking at the EFPMS (Estates and Facilities Management Information System) returns, it’s not clear that the country’s Health Boards are investing in good survey data, and keeping current – i.e. knowing where you are and ensuring that your Board are there with you.”
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