Response to Budget Cuts at the National Health Service in the U.K.

December 6, 2010

By Paul Gatland, VFA U.K. Director

In an article published by Ben Clovers on October 20, 2010, “NHS capital spending to fall by 17 per cent,” Clovers discusses the impact of the National Health Service’s capital budget cut for the next three financial years; in summary, the NHS will now be expected to get the best possible value from its existing premises.

With capital becoming increasingly scarce, healthcare organisations are challenged to deploy it as effectively and efficiently as possible. They must also ensure that they are not spending valuable funds on the wrong projects, and that they can avoid costly emergency repairs and downtime that affects the delivery of critical services.

With a continuous influx of patients and with aging facilities and infrastructure, healthcare facilities experience continued wear and tear. Items that are critical to the continuous operation of a hospital must be prioritised to the top of the capital spend list and cannot be lost in the chaos of budget cuts.

By employing a capital planning and management software tool to view this information in aggregate from a variety of perspectives – for example, by cost, priority and category – hospitals can make better-informed decisions and begin to convert facilities data into action plans with achievable deadlines as part of a larger plan. While this ability is important for a single hospital, it is even more valuable to larger healthcare organisations with hefty real estate portfolios.

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