Stamp of approval for delivery of NHS LIFT schemes

Independent analysis shows 'project excellence' for LIFT healthcare developments in Hull

Has PFI construction put the future of NHS hospitals in doubt?

Healthcare projects delivered through the Government’s NHS LIFT procurement stream have generated millions of pounds for local communities as well as providing new state-of-the-art medical facilities, according to an independent report.

Professor Terry Williams, Dean of Hull University Business School, analysed whether LIFT projects delivered for the health estates across Hull city were generally regarded as successful due to the ‘feel good’ factor created from significant regeneration investment, or if they had in fact delivered ‘project excellence’.

It is clear that Sewell looks at project success in its widest sense, not only traditional project success criteria, but also leaving a legacy rather than just a building

And his findings show widespread support, with the programme showing that Hull LIFT provider, Sewell Group, had ‘well exceeded’ the industry norm in terms of outcomes.

He said: “For 20 years I have had a mission to understand how projects behave, how we can learn lessons from projects, and how we can manage them better.”

He conducted workshops with teams and managers to draw up causal maps of effect that led to project ‘success’, alongside analysis of Sewell Group’s processes, systems and evidence.

He said: “It is clear that Sewell looks at project success in its widest sense, not only traditional project success criteria, with a well-run project with fewer-than-average changes and disputes and higher-than-average safety and predictability, but also leaving a legacy rather than just a building, and more intangible criteria such as customer satisfaction, and user and community engagement and empathy.

“This achievement of success across a whole range of criteria naturally comes from a multi-faceted set of causes, which combine together in many ways. There are a number of factors at the root of this, but key is the organisational culture, and also the sense of locality of the company.”

There are a number of factors at the root of this, but key is the organisational culture, and also the sense of locality of the company

The report states that over the five-year period, £200m of developments delivered by Sewell Group under the LIFT programme and the Building Schools for the Future initiative has created a multiplier of 2.54 for Hull and 2.97 for the region. This means each £1 of this £200m has recirculated 2.54 times locally and just short of three times regionally.

Commenting on the analysis, Paul Sewell, managing director of Sewell Group, said: “Transporting what we’ve done so well in Hull to other regions isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re a company built on people being of service to people. We’re about building relationships and developing long-term partnerships. We’ll stick to what we’re good at and grow organically to ensure the quality we strive for remains.”

The findings of the research were presented earlier this month at Hull University Business School and the report will be developed into an academic journal over the coming months.

Sewell said: “I hope these findings are a fair reflection of our customers’ and communities’ experiences. We’ve always been big on people engagement and culture to drive quality and performance and I’m pleased this has been highlighted as a golden thread throughout the study.

Transporting what we’ve done so well in Hull to other regions isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re a company built on people being of service to people

“We have been privileged with our construction position over the last five years with the health and education programmes in Hull. We’ve been fortunate to know that, as long as we continued to deliver on our promises, we would remain the consistent construction partner for the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust Programme and the Building Schools for the Future Programme.

“These long-standing programmes enabled us to continually learn and develop and to invest in our people, systems and processes. It allowed us to not only develop our construction division, but to grow our facilities management and commercial safety businesses, leading to a more-holistic estates offer for our customers.”

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