A new scheme has been launched to help NHS commissioners offload the costs and responsibilities of managing vacant and unused space in their buildings.
The Vacant Space Handbook Scheme was unveiled by NHS Property Services with the aim of helping the NHS reduce an estimated cost of £10 million a year through unused space across its estate. NHS commissioners can transfer liability for eligible space to NHSPS, who will then deal with the matter accordingly, by developing, disposing of or re-letting the space.
The space must be a self-contained unit above 100 metres square to qualify for the scheme, declared surplus to requirements, vacant and free of any bad debt. It must also be in a proper that NHSPS has a legal interest and not a PFI. The space must also have been transferred over as part of they 2013 health reforms.
“We know that commissioners don’t want to be spending their money on empty space, and now we can help them avoid some of those costs,” said John Westwood, director of Asset Management at NHS Property Services. “This scheme will free up more of their budgets for frontline care.”
Discussing the new initiative, Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said, “This scheme is an important part of our ongoing efforts to help the NHS make the most of its estates, delivering greater value for money and freeing up extra funds for patient care.”