NHS failing to extract full benefit of capital framework, construction firm warns

Early engagement crucial to success of Procure22 framework says BAM Construction boss

Jonathan Ainley wants to bring increased benefits to NHS trusts through the Procure22 construction framework

Hospitals are failing to capitalise on the benefits of a construction framework for delivering capital projects, according to major contractor, BAM.

Jonathan Ainley, frameworks manager for BAM Construct UK, is urging the NHS to engage even earlier with contractors under the Procure22 (P22) capital framework.

In a blog published on BAM’s website, he says: “Our partnership with the NHS under the P22 framework has already resulted in a range of standard room designs, standard assemblies, and standard components; free P22 training; a suite of guidance documents covering the use of BIM, pre- and post-occupancy evaluation and Government Soft Landings (GSL).

The mindset must change from seeing us as principally builders appointed for a single building or a group of buildings to seeing us as long-term partners helping deliver service improvement and organisational changes through well-designed, flexible and efficient facilities across multiple sites and providers

“Millions of pounds of project savings prove that this behind-the-scenes work delivers.

“But, engaging us earlier would accelerate the scale of these benefits.

“We know how to design, cost and construct healthcare facilities and involving us from the very start would only add further value and reduce abortive work.”

He added that the current framework has transformed UK healthcare projects UK since 2003 by virtually eliminating delays and cost overruns.

But he said some still view the collaborative partnership with suspicion, which is holding NHS trusts back from getting more out of the expertise that contractors and their supply chain partners have to offer.

Ainley said: “The mindset must change from seeing us as principally builders appointed for a single building or a group of buildings to seeing us as long-term partners helping deliver service improvement and organisational changes through well-designed, flexible and efficient facilities across multiple sites and providers.”

He believes that earlier engagement would provide reduce construction risk, improve sequencing and buildability, empower modern construction methods, and improve cost information. In turn, this would help trusts align estates with clinical requirements and outputs.

Surely it is better to work together collaboratively at an early stage than discovering too late that a project is unaffordable?

Ainley concludes: “There is a precedent. At the Erasmus Medisch Centrum in Rotterdam, the operator is reducing operating costs with help from asset data supplied by us as the contractor. We can do the same for an NHS trust here.

“Data is another under exploited estate asset waiting for trusts to take advantage of.

“The facility and assets become a living database; a mine of valuable information that have the potential to reduce future operating costs during management.

“Surely it is better to work together collaboratively at an early stage than discovering too late that a project is unaffordable?”

Companies