COMMERCIAL: Isle of Wight Trust has established a ‘strategic estates partnership’ with a private company to help modernise its site in line with a recently developed clinical strategy.

The provider, which runs acute, community, mental health and ambulance services, last week signed a 15 year joint venture agreement with Ryhurst, a property management company specialising in the healthcare sector.

As part of its strategy the trust will look to sell off parts of its site no longer deemed “fit for the future”, according to trust chief executive Karen Baker.

Isle of Wight, which last year reported revenues of £172m, is the first non-foundation trust among the handful of NHS organisations that have embarked on similar estates focused joint venture projects across England.

Capital projects and advisory services provided over the course of the partnership could be worth up to £25m, according to a tender document issued by the trust in January.

Ms Baker told HSJ: “We realised that availability of capital would be going down over the coming years and looking at our estate we realised that we had a number of areas that would really benefit from modernisation.

“The whole point of having the joint venture is that we have access to that commercial capability and capacity to look in detail at the estate. 

While there is not yet a “grand plan” for the trust’s estate, Ms Baker said any projects would be in line with the trust’s clinical strategy, which was published last year.

Ms Baker suggested there might be scope for increased opportunities for private patient care within part of the trust’s future estate.

She said: “Private patients is the obvious [opportunity].

“[There’s] a big chunk of our estate that we won’t be needing in the future. 

“We operate out of 21 sites around the island. Our main hospital and mental health site is St Mary’s in Newport.

“We would like to rationalise all of those sites together and have some community care hubs.”

Ryhurst, which is also engaged in similar joint ventures with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Foundation Trust, will be providing strategic advice as well as sourcing finance for capital projects.

Stephen Collinson, managing director of Ryhurst, said: “We act as a 50:50 partner with the trust and try to help them deliver their clinical service plans and service change strategies by providing the most appropriate estate.

All decisions and business cases relating to the trust’s estate will now be referred to a joint venture governance board, which is in the process of being formed.