Optimisation – the benefits of fully utilising CHP buildings

  • 18th December 2023

James Bawn, strategic business development director at Community Health Partnerships (CHP) – an NHS company which works in partnership with local health and care systems to provide innovative and sustainable spaces for patient care – discusses the benefits of utilisation on driving efficiency within the estate

Nine out of 10 of CHP’s buildings are in areas of high health need, contributing to them being viewed as valuable core NHS assets by the NHS


Where you treat your patients is a critical part of clinical outcomes.

And optimising space available within local communities can hugely support better health outcomes while increasing service and financial effectiveness.

Across communities, health infrastructure and services have been developed for local access, reducing the need to seek out diagnostics and treatment from within an acute setting.

This infrastructure can, and is, being increasingly used as a focal point for communities, particularly as more diagnostics and treatment are moved from acute into community settings; and our expert data, analytics, and work with system partners gives us solid evidence to support the accommodation of additional optimisation into the future.

Value and productivity

We know that this will enhance the health and wellbeing benefits to local communities, demonstrating even better value and improved productivity when implementing new models of care for the NHS.

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, in which he announced a productivity target of 0.5% for the public sector, it is clear that the LIFT portfolio can support this, especially in the absence of new money and a stretched capital budget.

We have been saying for some time that higher utilisation and optimisation of best-quality core assets in the community, such as LIFT buildings, will bring greater value.

Optimising the in-community estate makes sense.

At CHP, one of our core objectives is to work with health and social care partners to maximise the use of the LIFT portfolio, supporting in-community service delivery.

And our portfolio is seen as an exemplar of high-quality infrastructure, in excellent condition, fit for purpose, flexible, and situated in the places where these facilities are needed most, i.e. areas of high deprivation.

Community Diagnostic Centres are examples of where CHP has flexed and adapted buildings to meet clinical priorities and bring care closer to patients’ homes

Flexing and adapting

Nine out of 10 of our buildings are in areas of high health need, contributing to them being viewed as valuable core NHS assets by the NHS.

We have many examples of where we have flexed and adapted buildings in our portfolio to meet clinical priorities, the most-notable of which include Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) and supporting the transfer to community or place-based care, such as Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre in Warrington.

The Fuller Stocktake Report specifically highlighted the need to focus on local populations, based around Primary Care Networks (PCNs), for both prevention and treatment.

And CHP’s extensive work with PCNs and ICSs around both infrastructure and the accurate data needed to support effective planning is enabling informed decision-making, positioning us as a key partner to support these outcomes.

This approach perfectly aligns with the ethos of CHP and the LIFTCo estate.

We collaborate and strive to enable health outcomes in local communities, particularly those who may traditionally have been harder to access.

This approach will reduce pressure on acute hospitals, enabling primary care settings to focus on their population needs, while expanding diagnostic capacity that provides earlier intervention and reduces post-pandemic waiting lists.

Increasing optimisation

This approach underpins increasing optimisation across the LIFT portfolio and the wider core estate across the NHS.

We have worked with partners and NHS England to develop a new tool which helps to optimise the local estate.

Using data, it maps out current and potential patient throughput across all parts of a building, accurately estimating the use of every area and enabling operators to make sure they are maximising the number of patient episodes across their core portfolio.

We have regionally-based directors who know each area and its potential and who can support the work needed to take a strategic view of an estate’s needs, as well as working with our fron-line property delivery colleagues to meet localised needs.

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