Changing rooms for the better in healthcare

Changing rooms for the better in healthcare

“I would like to see these good designs in use at local level, saving everyTrust money that can be put into frontline patient care.” Doctor Dan Poulter, MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

How do you cut costs in healthcare while improving the quality of patient care and services? We have been working with five ProCure21+ Supply Chain Partners (PSCPs) and the Department of Health (DoH) to come up with ‘repeatable rooms:’ a hospital standardising design strategy that will save the NHS money while improving the patient experience.

The challenge

Savings on a four-bed bay repeatable room A number of national initiatives highlighted the need to improve hospital design and build processes. The Government Construction Strategy demands a reduction in costs of 14 per cent by 2015, while the quality agenda means that NHS Trusts must find ways of improving patient care while spending less money.

NHS design and build schemes have traditionally been delivered each with a bespoke design. Each variation costs the NHS an enormous amount of money, yet it’s unlikely the differences are grounded in evidence.

While savings need to be made, simply buying cheaper components isn’t an option, so our healthcare teams worked collaboratively with five PSCPs including Kier and Balfour Beatty to consider how we could reduce costs through standardisation.

ProCure+21 Delivering cost reduction through standardisationStandardisation: the process

The development process for the standardisation initiative was thorough and featured consultation with a full range of stakeholders including experts from the NHS and construction industries and patient group representatives.

April 2013 – National seminar

Representatives from NHS Trusts and the ProCure21+ PSCPs gather in London to consider the benefits of a standardisation initiative. 95% vote to take the initiative forward.

July 2013- Literature and design reviews

Over 150 studies and research papers on healthcare outcomes reviewed and critically assessed.

August 2013 – Patient workshops 

Patient group representatives are invited to share their experience and expectations.

September 2013 – Expert reviews

Experts from the NHS, construction industry, Royal Colleges and patient representative organisations form panels to feedback on initial design proposals.

October 2013 – Component reviews

Suppliers for the Standardised Components are researched and approached.

November 2013 – Technical reviews

Experts and real-life processes test the proposals.

February 2014 – National rollout

Final repeatable room proposals, together with a second wave of standardised components, are made freely available to NHS clients via the ProCure21+ Club StandardShare site. Material includes BIM models and technical drawings.

Excellent results

When used correctly under the ProCure21+ framework, repeatable rooms and standardised components can achieve savings in excess of 20%, meaning more money can be spent on patient care.

Our efforts in supporting the initiative have been recognised in the Constructing Excellence Awards 2014, where we are shortlisted in the ‘innovation’ and ‘integration & collaborative working’ category.

Andrew Vernon