• HSJ collated data from annual accounts to show which trusts generated the largest capital receipts last financial year
  • Six providers raised more than £10m through asset sales in 2016-17
  • Providers were encouraged to pursue or speed up property sales last year

Sales of land or physical assets by NHS trusts generated cash receipts of £220m in 2016-17.

Six providers raised more than £10m each (see table).

Providers were encouraged to pursue or speed up property sales last year to support the financial position nationally.

Consolidated accounts data published by the Department of Health for previoius years showed that asset sales by trusts totalled £312m in 2015-16, £155m in 2014-15 and £191m in 2013-14.

A wide ranging review of NHS estates by Sir Robert Naylor estimated that the service could potentially generate £6bn by selling land that is surplus to requirements, most of which would be in London.

HSJ has collated data published in trusts’ annual accounts to show which organisations generated the largest capital receipts last year.

Around 90 trusts raised more than £100,000 with 35 raising more than £1m.

The 20 trusts that made the most from selling land or assets in 2016-17

TrustTotal earned from asset disposals
Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust £24.0m
Royal Free London FT £21.3m
University College London Hospitals FT £20.3m
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust £14.0m
University Hospitals Birmingham FT £12.3m
King’s College Hospital FT £10.6m
North Bristol Trust £8.3m
Central and North West London FT £8.0m
Surrey and Borders Partnership FT £6.1m
University Hospital of South Manchester FT £5.0m
South London and Maudsley FT £4.6m
South West Yorkshire Partnership FT £4.3m
South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust £3.9m
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh FT £3.8m
Southern Health FT £3.3m
Cumbria Partnership FT £3.1m
Sussex Partnership FT £3.1m
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals FT £3.0m
Gloucestershire Hospitals FT £2.8m
South East Coast Ambulance Service FT £2.8m

Source: Trust annual accounts

The disposals produce a cash benefit but can also benefit the trusts’ income and expenditure position if the asset is sold for a higher amount than it was valued at on the balance sheet.

The difference between the two amounts can count towards the trust sector’s financial performance, and in some cases the sales triggered additional incentive payments for the trusts via the sustainability and transformation fund.

For example, Royal Brompton and Harefield FT received an extra £11m of STF after it beat its financial target by £20m – thanks largely to the £13m profit made on the sale of an investment property.

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust said its £14m capital receipt related to the disposal of land at its Sutton Hospital site, which contained three vacant and unused blocks of the old hospital. This resulted in net profit of £11m.

The £8.3m generated by North Bristol Trust related to the planned sale of the Frenchay Hospital site, which closed in 2014, to housing developers, as well as a three bedroom residential property and an offsite sterile services department. It said the sales were part of a 10 year programme. It booked a £3m profit on the disposals.

University Hospitals Birmingham FT received around £12m from a housing developer for surplus land in Selly Oak and booked a profit of £247,000.

The other trusts did not respond in time for our deadline.

The HSJ Strategic Estates Forum is taking place on 20 March at BMA House in London. This is a high-level strategic forum that brings together estates directors, STP 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 the delivery vehicle for the Naylor Report, the creation of Project Phoenix, advice on establishing SEPs (Strategic Estates Partnerships) and assessing progress of STP estates plans. Sir Robert Naylor, National Adviser, NHS Property and Estates; David Williams, Director General of Finance, Department of Health and Simon Corben, Head of Profession, NHS Improvement are all confirmed as keynote speakers for the event. Register your interest for this free-to-attend event on our website: https://strategicestates.hsj.co.uk/register-your-interest-attending

Revealed: How much NHS trusts made from land sales