Healthcare Estates conference programme starts taking shape

As we move toward Spring and unprecedented times in the healthcare sector, the organisers of Healthcare Estates, IHEEM and Step, see the timing of the event in November as potentially pivotal in tackling many of the current issues we are facing in the UK in our hospitals and health centres as well as those dealing with similar problems across the World.

This year’s reports from the National Audit Office (NAO) on NHS finance, underscore the reality of the worsening state of the NHS estate. Real terms reductions to capital limits and the short-term fix of transferring capital to revenue, have contributed to an eye-watering £6.5bn backlog maintenance bill. This short-term transfer means there is little available for investment in the NHS estate.

For the health sector, such ‘renewal’ is badly needed, especially for the NHS estate. While revenue funding for the NHS has already been put in place until 2023-24, this alone is not enough to meet the ambitions of the Long-Term Plan set out in January 2019. Even though parts of the NHS estate are crying out for investment, there continues to be underspends in overall capital budgets. This, together with the significant levels of debt accumulated by some providers to fund capital, is a clear indication that capital funding is not reaching the areas where it is most needed.  The government have now long recognised the need to reform the capital system, yet along with multi-year allocations, this has been delayed by other events.

The government’s Health Infrastructure Plan pledges to construct 40 new hospitals by 2030, Announcing capital investment without certainty on the associated costs, or how it will be funded, hardly represents prudent financial management. Nor does it provide clarity for those planning the projects and associated budgets – ultimately at the cost of real value for money.

Building the Healthcare Estates conference programme 2020 considers a number of the key issues occupying the estates and facilities teams responsible for running the estate and spending the allocated funds from government.  The IHEEM conference committee recently met to deliberate and cogitate upon the 100+ presentation submissions for the Healthcare Estates conference programme for 2020.  The standard of the submissions was high, with many coming from NHS Trusts.  review the submissions based on the event’s core requirements of sharing knowledge, best practise, and lessons learnt; peer to peer learning is a cornerstone of the appeal and benefit of attending Healthcare Estates.

The range of subject areas covered by the presentations chosen for inclusion in the conference is wide, and case studies from NHS Trust is prominent trend in the content for this year.  A number of case studies feature a range of subjects:

Use of BIM in hospital construction of the Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Dulwich, examples at the Ellen Badger Hospital and Shipston Medical Centre in Warwickshire of facility modification / enhancement / expansion while maintaining operational functionality, a case study of the implementation of user-led design for creation of a facility for neuro-divergent disabilities at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, the use of digital data and stakeholder engagement to remodel the Lennard Road NHS building in Croydon, the innovative methods used by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to build new facilities for Stoke Mandeville hospital and a nurse training facility for the University of Bedfordshire, and the development of an integrated approach to relocate the clinical services at The Royal Papworth Hospital, including the design of the new hospital, and incorporation of innovation and efficiencies, and the introduction of new procedures and protocols to fit the new facility.

Specialist rehabilitation will also be discussed, covering the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, development of the business case and its clinical model, with stakeholder involvement.  Sustainability, energy saving and net carbon zero are all addressed, including examples of energy efficiency in Italian healthcare settings.

The design of operating rooms will be presented, including new technology for hybrid surgery environments, and a case study from Poland on the design of operating theatres not only from the clinical functionality perspective, but also from the aspect of the comfort for the surgical users of them.

Development of the Primary Estate Strategy in the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group will be presented, and will cover the input of appropriate groups – the relevant people in NHS organisations and the public, in making informed decisions on the strategy to best serve the large population that the Group serves.


Keynote speakers confirmed are Professor Allan Short from the University of Cambridge who will be one of the events Keynote speakers.  Professor Short is the Principle Investigator for the UK-China EPSRC/NSFC funded ‘Low Carbon Climate-Responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities’ (LoHCool) £800K, focussing on carbon reduction opportunities in mega-cities in China. He has been the Professor of Architecture at the University of Cambridge since 2001. His work focuses on the design of sustainable buildings.

Simon Corben, Director and Head of Profession NHS Estates and Facilities, NHS England and NHS Improvement.  Simon and his team are focussing on providing the toolkit and expertise to assist the NHS in the next stage of delivering the improvements as set out in the Five Year Forward View next steps document and the Naylor Report.

Other organisations contributing to the conference this year include the Society of Public Health Engineers (SoPHE), Procure 220, and Architects for Health (STEVE PLEASE CONFIRM).

Diversity and Inclusion at Healthcare Estates

At the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM), the Diversity and Inclusion working group have recognised a need to drive diversity and inclusion within the healthcare sector. The Diversity and Inclusion Working Group was formed in 2017 and current members are Kim Shelley – ETA Projects Ltd (Chair), Claire Hennessy – Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Manju Patel – NHS Grampian, and Duane Passman – Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

This year’s focus will provide an opportunity to highlight lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) engineers and current and historic barriers to inclusion. It is a chance to present positive examples and tools that can help to develop a more inclusive culture within engineering for LGBTQ+ engineers.

There will be a programme of content by IHEEM’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group with several inspirational speakers and will be open to all those attending 2020 Healthcare Estates. More updates on this strand of work will be reported on over the next few editions.

The committee, comprising; IHEEM Chief Executive Pete Sellars, also from IHEEM – Melissa Glass – Marketing and Events Manager, new committee Chair Claire Hennessy – Estates and Facilities Director Birmingham Community NHS Foundation Trust, Duane Passman – Director of 3Ts, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Duncan Sissons – Project Director, John Sisk & Son Ltd, Simon Adamson – Head of Estates, South Tees Hospital NHS Trust, Ian Hinitt – IHEEM President, Philip Wade – Business Consultant, Static Systems, Adrian Eggleton – Director & EFM Operational Head, NHS Estates & Facilities Commercial Directorate, Michael Soroka – Estates Operations Manager, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, and representatives from organisers Step Exhibitions: Steve Webb – Event Director, Jay Stacy – Sales Manager, and Victoria Emerton – Conference Director.