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Plan to reduce NHS maintenance backlog focuses on FM efficiency

04 November 2019

Proof of the efficient operation of their estates will need to be provided to regulator NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), it was announced last week.

It is aiming to receive board-level assurance from NHS trusts that all estates and facilities are managed safely and efficiently, with the regulator also aiming to ensure service providers are contractually obliged to meet these terms.

NHSE/I is said to be planning to incorporate the NHS Premises Assurance Model (PAM) into the NHS Standard Contract, according to HSJ magazine.

This is described as a checklist for trusts to assess their needs and to gauge levels of compliancy with the legal requirements relating to estates and FM.

When the latest change is introduced, it will be the first time that NHS trusts have been faced with mandatory application of the model, with HSJ further reporting that it understood "some providers have never used the PAM".

Achieving the application of the model requires input from departments including IT, contract management and HR, as well as trusts' operational teams, and can take several months, it was reported.

The trusts that fail to incorporate the PAM into the standard contract could see them missing out on NHS-commissioned services provision.

With the backlog of maintenance in the NHS currently said to be £6.5bn, with more than 50% of this said to be of high or critical importance, the raising of focus on improved running of estates and gaining board-level involvement is aimed at reducing this figure in future.

Although the NHSE/I move is aimed more at reducing outstanding cost, its focus on increased efficiency and board-level involvement provides another step in the drive to see FM gain more recognition at the highest level.

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