Long-term opportunities for healthcare construction market

Despite slowing of the market, experts predict billions will be spent on healthcare construction over the next five years

Barbour ABI research shows opportunities particularly in the South East of England and Wales

Despite ongoing concern over the impact of Brexit on the construction industry, and a reduction in capital schemes starting on site, the long-term opportunities within the healthcare sector are expected to improve into 2018 and beyond.

According to Barbour ABI research, health sector construction output decreased by nearly 10% in October 2017 compared to the previous month.

However, this figure shows that the value of contracts in the ‘medical and health’ sector was £139m for the month, based on a three-month rolling average.

This figure is 15.6% higher than the values in October 2016, showing a market that is steadily improving and providing increased opportunities.

And, once the uncertainty over Brexit is ironed out, market experts predict steady-if-moderate growth in outputs, with predicted growth across the construction industry as a whole predicted to be around 0.7% next year.

In his autumn budget, the Chancellor announced a £10billion investment in existing NHS buildings, new facilities and the modernisation of patient care.

£3.5billion will be made available for the estate between now and 2020, with the extra £6.5billion coming from sale of surplus assets to developers. This is expected to help meet the Government’s pledge to build thousands of new homes up and down the country.

There is also a lot of interest in the new ProCure22 framework, which will see a £4billion investment in the NHS estate between now and 2020.

According to the Barbour ABI research, Wales and the South West are particular growth areas for healthcare construction.

The primary care sector, including GP clinics and community health centres, is also a key growth area.

Figures show around 45 confirmed projects across the medical & healthcare; surgeries and medical centres; private hospitals; secure hospitals; and hospices, and nursing and psychiatric home sectors.

The healthcare construction market is being boosted by the £4billion ProCure22 framework and the budget pledge to plough £10billion into the health estate

Approved projects include a number of developments coming through the Government’s Healthy New Towns Initiative; a new health centre at Wesham Park Hospital in Blackpool; a private patient unit at Kingston Hospital; and a series of estates improvement works at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust.

A further 90 projects are at the outline planning stage and will be coming through in the next couple of years. And around 140 projects are at the pre-tender stage, showing a healthy pipeline moving forward.

More than 120 projects are shown at various stages of development and tender that have a focus on dementia care; and there are several thousand mixed-use residential projects which include an element of elderly care accommodation, a huge proportion with specialist dementia care facilities.

In fact the care home sector is a particularly-bouyant one and is expected to offer countless opportunities moving forward, particularly for companies with experience in health and social care design and construction.

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