The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was keen to ensure it was achieving value for money from its estate and therefore needed to ensure that its buildings were being utilised as efficiently as possible.
To that end, the Trust requested a space utilisation exercise to be conducted in order to identify any possible opportunities for increasing the overall efficiency of its estate through releasing unnecessary facilities.
GK Transfromation were asked to support the Trust in undertaking this space utilisation exercise, building upon the Trust's wider Estates strategy.
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist mental health and community health services Trust. The Trust operates from 38 primary sites across the county including community hospitals, Prospect Park Hospital, clinics and GP practices. The Trust operates from a number of owned, leased and NHSPS sites, which it shares with other NHS providers such as Royal Berkshire Hospital and Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals, which also run services from these sites. The Trust also provides health care and therapy to people in their own homes.
The Trust's services include:
- Inpatient rehabilitation wards at community hospitals
- Community nursing
- Health visiting
- Allied health such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry
- Learning disability community-based services
- Mental health services - inpatient and community-based
- Community dentistry for children and adults who have special needs that prevent them getting dental care from a general dentist
- Children's services
- Some of the walk-in health centres and minor injuries units in Berkshire.
The terms of reference for this review were as follows:
- To review the current utilisation of space across a number of the Trust's key sites, as per the table below.
- To identify opportunities for reducing the amount of space occupied by the Trust, including suggested alternate locations for Trust staff and services.
- To develop a report detailing the findings from the review and the suggestions for reorganisation to achieve a reduction in the size of the Trust's estate.
Our project team visited each of the sites identified within the Project Scope. During these visits the team toured the site and clarified the occupancy of each and every room on the site.
At each site our team were escorted by a member of the Trust's Estates & Facilities team in order that we could be shown around the site and were able to access each area, as necessary. During our site visits members of our team talked to some of the current occupants about how often they use particular facilities.
Our team were provided with access to the details of each room and drawings of each site (that identified each room) through access to the Trust's MICAD system.
Our team also took a number of photographs of some areas, in order to help describe potential issues and solutions.
Having undertaken the site visits, or team analysed the information gathered in order to clarify the current levels of occupancy across each site and thereafter developed a number of alternate occupancy models.
Our approach included discussions with estates and clinical service professionals within the Trust, who were well placed to advise our team on both the current service and future requirements. Through a number of iterations, our team were able to develop a number of potential solutions for the reorganisation of the space that is currently occupied.
Finally, our team presented our findings and options for improving space utilisation in a written report to the Trust, having been thoroughly validated as part of our ISO9001 accredited quality assurance system.
Utilisation and Occupancy
Our consultant team presented an analysis of the Trust's estate showing the utilisation of each room within each building on each site. The results were presented in two main formats;
- Drawings – with colour coded analysis to show occupancy types and levels
- Spreadsheet model – detailing the size and occupancy score of each room with summaries for each building/block, each site and each locality.
The analysis was therefore able to provide a complete picture of the Trust's estate, detailing the amount of space currently required for Clinical services, Non-Clinical functions and that occupied by other organisations, vacant space and derelict buildings. Furthermore, the analysis was able to present the levels of occupancy within each category, as either fully occupied, partly occupied or under occupied.
Scenario and Options Modelling
Our consultant team were able to use the analysis to model a number of different scenarios, whereby occupants could be "moved" from one site to another, thereby freeing certain properties entirely, which would in turn allow for their disposal and associated cost savings.
This modelling exercise was very much an iterative process, by which the needs to maintain service adjacencies and presence in specific localities could be factored into the model.
The analysis did provide a clear indication that estate rationalisation was indeed possible in a number of localities, whereas in others the current levels of occupancy, constraints of PFI arrangements and future service requirements would prevent and significant relocation of services.
"The GK Transformation team were able to help us with identifying some clear priorities in our programme to rationalise the estate and drive greater value for the Trust. They delivered the project in good time and have produced some really helpful analyses" – Greg Scott, Director of Estates and Facilities.