During the election, Theresa May was asked about the Conservative manifesto pledge on health that it claims it would implement, “the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology that the NHS has ever seen”. “we are backing the proposals in the Naylor Report”.
In other words, a new Conservative government and NHS England will cover over massive cuts to existing infrastructure in “investment in buildings and technology” through selling off NHS land and buildings.
Sir Robert Naylor’s “independent report” was commissioned by the Secretary for State for Health, Jeremy Hunt and was published in March 2017.
The report set out “a new direction of strategy for NHS estates in England”.
To enact this great land and building sell off the Naylor Report also recommends the establishment of a powerful new arms-length NHS Property Board ”
NHS Property Services (NHS PS), formerly NHS Propco, was set up in 2012 following the Health and Social Care Act, having taken over £5bn worth of property – some 3,500 properties, including offices, primary care and community health facilities formerly used by the Primary Care Trusts.
What does it mean for the Isle of Wight?
There are many outreach sites to consider but we do not know what exists and a proper audit is required and statement of intent by the authorities. We know some already were disposed of many years ago like Church Street, Ventnor. There are sites at the Heights location in Sandown, which were cut back, as well as in Newport. Land grab and asset stripping has long been a Government intention to coincide with their privatisation plans and selling off of the Nation’s silver. It all usually involves giveways to developers at peppercorn valuations.
Also there are the buildings at St Mary’s hospital site, (Ryhurst were going to take a percentage), which were due to be sold off. These buildings came into focus once more during the Winter bed blocking crisis where wards were needed. Unfortunately there has been no staffing on standby either and the whole site was rundown and at least required refurbishment.
Ryhurst the private sector partnership with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust designed a strategy for NHS estates
Isle of Wight NHS Trust was the first non-foundation trust to establish a Strategic Estates Partnership that allowed Isle of Wight NHS Trust to ambitiously become a new standard model. It was presented as “Ground Breaking” nationally, but the Trust was soon to show its failures as it passed into special measures. Wight Life Partnership (WLP), established in November 2014, the agreement between the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Ryhurst Limited. The NHS Trust Development Agency (TDA) were on board with the partnership agreement from the start.
The Trust had a clear objective for the partnership from the outset:
The then CEO of IOW NHS trust talked then about making, “the best use of estate to support high quality clinical services”. Recently she has left the job.
WLP was established to deliver a long term estates solution for the Trust. The intent was to work with the Trust and other stakeholders and providers to develop an island wide solution for the provision and delivery of services maximising the use, efficiency and location of services. Also it wanted a role in identifying opportunities to maximise returns through commercial opportunities.
The excuse was that property can either be an enabler or a barrier to the effective delivery of services. A key role of the partnership is to ensure that infrastructure reflects needs. It was not supposed to be about building new facilities; but getting the most out of existing facilities.
In WLP, they aligned the clinical and estates strategies with the island wide health strategy. The delivery plan was to rationalise the estate. It was for refitting or disposing of buildings deemed, “not fit for purpose and make best use of all public sector property available”. It included reviewing how the Trust utilises space and reduce overhead costs of occupied buildings. Unfortunately the conclusions and decisions were taken behind closed doors, without consultation and at least were arbitrary and lacked objectivity.
The WLP Board was formed from the senior executives of both partners. The Chief Executive Office a Non-Executive Director of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust with Stephen Collinson, Managing Director and Aileen Ivanec, Group Legal Director of Ryhurst Limited.
The WLP Board members jointly appointed the General Manager for the LLP who is responsible for managing WLP’s operations, projects and business development.
The Trust is represented by their ‘Informed Client Group’ (ICG) who provides the daily contact between the Trust and WLP.
Key WLP projects included:
- Reviewing the Trust’s Clinical Strategy and alignment of the Estate Strategy
- Estate master planning
- Reviews to drive improvements and efficiencies
- Commercial opportunities to generate an income
- Improved space utilisation
There are issues that need to be answered if there is to be funding as the anti-austerity movement has raised, particularly as Corbyn mentioned in his roll back into the NHS away from the privatisation plans for the NHS. What is the State of the NHS on the Isle of Wight? Can an audit of services be done? What services have moved, outsourced to the mainland or Private Sector? What needs to return? What is the state of assets?
What is the current position of the post election Conservative Government who are in a quandry over austerity or not? These factors are required as a negotiating baseline for the saving of the NHS movement against the Conservatives pre-election and post election strategy.
The need at the moment is for organisation with Public support. The intention is to not just protect existing services, but to roll back the outsourcing and privatisation plans where assets are a part.