- Chris King, Principal Strategic Asset Manager at NHSPS
NHS Property Services (NHSPS) are a government-owned company which exists to help the NHS maximise its estate, ensuring that it is consistently fit for purpose so that healthcare professionals can deliver excellent patient care. Their portfolio is one of the largest in the UK, comprising more than 3,000 properties with 7,000 tenants across England. At a total value of more than £3bn, this represents about 10% of the total NHS estate. The properties range from listed buildings to state-of-the-art integrated health campuses.
In order to maximise the utilisation of their property portfolio and to improve the process for hiring their range of health, wellbeing and community spaces, by the NHS, NHSPS sought a software system to help efficiently manage the booking of facilities. Their aim was to create a holistic room booking solution, which offered an easy-to-use booking platform for a range of facilities and simplified the back-end booking management process.
NHSPS chose Kajima Community and their BookingsPlus software system as a starting point, as it offered the closest ‘off the shelf’ solution that was then developed to create a bespoke software solution, NHS Open Space, which suited all NHSPS’s needs.
Since launching the booking platform in 2019 NHSPS and Kajima Community have now expanded delivery to over 1,100+ spaces across 200 NHS sites, nationwide. A community of 4,500 users access the software to book facilities and deliver much-needed NHS services, with over 230,000 bookings processed through the system - accounting for over 1.5 million hours of vital patient service delivery. During the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS Open Space demonstrated its true flexibility allowing clinicians and other service providers to book and pay only for the time and space required, rather than having to commit to longer-term rents, allowing various services to run efficiently and effectively as per demand. The introduction of the software has also brought a significant decrease in the time spent administering room bookings, increased confidence in the bookings process, streamlined administration, made room booking more accessible and centralised room booking information and processes.
Christopher King, Principal Strategic Asset Manager at NHSPS, said: “Partnering with Kajima Community has unlocked the technology we need to make NHS Open Space a reality, and improve our offering to thousands of health and wellbeing professionals nationwide. The team have supported us through the initial platform development and then our relaunch in 2021, which now means we can offer a significantly improved, streamlined and intuitive platform to our customers.”
Louise Waddington, SMT & Operations Administrator, who uses the software to book facilities on behalf of InHealth commented: “I use NHS Open Space to book a range of clinical rooms across the North East, giving me the flexibility I need for my organisation’s regional services. Searching for rooms and making bookings through the website is quick and easy, and I have all the information I need on past and future bookings in one place. I’m always kept up to date about my bookings and the support team are on hand for any additional information I need. Having spoken to the NHSPS customer support team a few times, I’ve found them to be very helpful, knowledgeable, and able to sort out any queries quickly. NHS Open Space has simplified my room booking process, saving me time and energy on administrative tasks and giving me confidence our patient services can run without disruption.”
In 2022 NHSPS plan to continue their expansion across their property portfolio, as well as explore potential new partnerships with other property owners to add additional healthcare estates onto the platform and increase choice for users. Working with Kajima Community, the ambition is to develop a single lettings solution for the entire NHS.