‘Big opportunity' to tackle NHS estate

Savings of at least £1.5bn are still there for the taking through better use of the NHS estate, according to a new report.

Figures published by consultancy EC Harris suggest that although there has been a 61% reduction in unused and surplus space in the NHS since 2008, there remains a lot more that can be done.

According to the fifth NHS Estate Efficiency Review, the health service has so far failed to make much headway in its efforts to create a more uniform estate and improve its facility management spend.

“From our analysis, the current estate has a surplus of 4.8%. In addition, by driving towards the mean average estate performance this would equate to £1.5bn in potential savings,” said Conor Ellis, global head of health at EC Harris.

“This is not the maximum possible saving – just what is immediately attainable – and that is money that could be used to fund an estimated 260,000 major front-line operations.”