• DHSC setting up framework for NHS capital spending
  • Framework is key to government’s pledge to build “40 new hospitals”
  • Heat is on us to deliver, says NHS estates chief

Billions of pounds of NHS capital is set to flow through a new national framework as part of the government’s drive to deliver “40 new hospitals” by 2030. 

Next month, the Department of Health and Social Care is expected to launch a procurement drive to find the construction companies which will be tasked with delivering one of Boris Johnson’s flagship policies.

The announcement will come six months after the government published its Health Infrastructure Plan. This involved the award of £2.7bn to deliver six schemes and a further £100m of seed funding to work up 34 building schemes at another 27 trusts.

Previously, many NHS trusts used the DHSC’s P22 framework to choose from six construction companies to deliver their capital projects. However, this framework expires in September, and the new framework — called Procure 2020 — will replace it. The DHSC estimates the framework will see more than £20bn of spending during its six-year life, according to a procurement notice published by the body.

There will be two national lots: one for projects costing between £25m and £100m, and one for those costing more than £100m. The latter is expected to be the purchasing route for the trusts allocated capital in the HIP. These projects are anticipated to cost between £350m and £650m.

Additionally, HSJ can reveal the DHSC intends to take a more regional approach to smaller capital projects such as refurbishments. According to a webinar for suppliers, hosted by DHSC last month, officials are planning a third lot which will be split into four regional categories covering the North, Midlands, London and the South. This will be used to select contractors for projects with a capital cost of up to £25m, enabling smaller companies to qualify.

Between six and 10 suppliers will be selected for each of two national and four regional lots.

The DHSC anticipates selecting suppliers for the framework in July. Six suppliers — Bam Construction, Galliford Try HPS, Graham Construction, Integrated Health Projects, Interserve Construction, and Kier Health — are on the current framework. The new framework will go live on 1 October.

Speaking on the webinar, NHS England/Improvement head of estates Simon Corben said there would be “10 years of intense build across the NHS and we must deliver on time”.

“The demand on us to deliver the vast majority of the committed capital by 2030 is significant, and we’re already feeling the heat from the administration to ensure we’re running at pace,” he said.

He added sustainability was “high on the agenda” and achieving net zero carbon objectives would be a “core component of how we approach the projects”. According to Mr Corben, the NHS roughly accounts for 29 per cent of the government’s carbon footprint.

The DHSC was approached for comment. 


HSJ Strategic Estates Forum

The HSJ Strategic Estates Forum, now in its 3rd year, takes place in London on 12 March 2020. This is a high level strategic forum that brings together estates directors, sustainability and transformation partnership estates leads and trust board leaders responsible for the estates function who are developing strategic plans for their organisations and local health economies. The focus of the forum is on issues such as availability of and access to capital, tackling backlog maintenance, utilisation of the estate and role of technology in infrastructure development. The forum builds on the Naylor Report and highly anticipated 2019 spending review.

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