Active Projects

The Value of Department of Health Estates-Related Standards and Guidance

Project Facts

Start date: April 2009
End date: October 2013
Investigators Erica Bishop
Staff Employed
Status Completed

Project Partners

• 1 Department of Health/Central/Office of Information
• 2 Acute Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, Mental Health Trusts,
• 3 Architectural practices, Consulting Engineers, Healthcare Planners,
• 4 Integra Healthcare Systems

Project Partners

HaCIRIC
Department of Civil and Building Engineering
Loughborough University
Ashby Road
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU
T: +44 (0) 15 0922 2627
E: a.d.f.price@lboro.ac.uk

The Department of Health (DH) is responsible for one of the largest estates in Europe. In this capacity the DH produce and disseminate estates-related Standards & Guidance (S&G) to provide support to the briefing and design processes for new, and refurbishment projects in old healthcare buildings. The estate is made up of a variety of buildings, many ageing and needing extensive refurbishment or replacement. It is therefore important to the stakeholders in the procurement and provision of healthcare environments that the DH S&G provide them with the information and data they need at the relevant time in the process. Policy changes over the past 20 – 30 years have had a profound effect upon the estate. The estate was seen to be in need of modernisation, but government lacked the extensive funding necessary to achieve anything like the extent of redevelopment required. The introduction of private sector funding to achieve this resulted in a major shift in the ownership of the estate, and latterly the regulation of the estate, both private sector and National Health Service (NHS). The NHS Constitution, introduced in 2009, was the first government document explicitly to recognise the estate, and the importance of it being fit-for-purpose.

The research comprised three major strands: Policy, DH S&G, and the Benefits of DH S&G. Policy is viewed as the driver for the need for DH S&G. The changing political environment, amongst many other factors, affects how the S&G have been operationalized. A study of the application of DH S&G aims to establish how users view the benefits and dis-benefits, and their effects on the healthcare environment.
The research established the benefits and dis-benefits of the DH S&G to the stakeholder groups using them, including organisations and individuals from the private and public sectors. The groups have differing roles and priorities and the research seeks to establish how these affect their requirements for S&G, how effectively they meet those requirements, and how they contribute to the overall provision of healthcare environments. Moreover, hospital accommodation has been proven to have an effect on the patients and staff and therefore the provision of useful and helpful S&G could be seen to have an indirect influence on patient outcomes, and also on providing a pleasant and efficient environment for staff.

The research established the benefits and dis-benefits of the DH S&G to the stakeholder groups using them, including organisations and individuals from the private and public sectors. The groups have differing roles and priorities and the research seeks to establish how these affect their requirements for S&G, how effectively they meet those requirements, and how they contribute to the overall provision of healthcare environments. Moreover, hospital accommodation has been proven to have an effect on the patients and staff and therefore the provision of useful and helpful S&G could be seen to have an indirect influence on patient outcomes, and also on providing a pleasant and efficient environment for staff.