New report highlights the benefits to patient care of new build facilties

Alder Hey hospital

The British Property Federation (BPF) has urged the government to invest in new-build medical premises and to encourage private investment in healthcare real estate, to prevent thousands of deaths a year.

In a report published today, the BPF and research partner Bolt Partners, estimate such investment could prevent nearly 3,000 deaths per year and reduce harm to patients.

The report, Quality Buildings, Quality Care, found that newly-built facilities at Acute Trusts are more likely to have lower mortality rates, with three out of the 19 (16%) Trusts in the UK that are new-builds incurring “significantly below average” deaths, compared to 13 out of 118 Trusts (11%) with older buildings.

The report also found that modern facilities are safer for patients, with 30% lower fall rates and 10% lower overall patient harm in new hospitals and similar reductions in new care homes.

Meanwhile, Acute Trusts with newly-built premises had a higher percentage of staff satisfied with the quality of work and patient care they are able to deliver.

Services provided from all types of new healthcare premises have also been three to four times more likely to be rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission than services provided from older premises.

Therefore the BPF is calling for the Government and NHS bodies to recognise the opportunities presented by working more closely and flexibly with the development sector in delivering healthcare real estate to unlock an esimtated £6bn in property investment.

The organisation would also like to see local authorities make greater provisions for healthcare facilities in their local plans, and to ensure that they are conveniently located to town centres, transport hubs, and existing medical infrastructure to facilitate integrated care. 

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “There is a clear correlation between new buildings and the quality of patient care that is provided within them.

Healthcare real estate is a vital part of the UK’s infrastructure, and as we face an increasingly ageing population and the NHS becomes more strained, now more than ever we want to make clear to Government the role that the real estate industry can play in ensuring the future health of the NHS.” 

Graham Roberts, chief executive of Assura Group and chair of the BPF’s Healthcare Committee, said: “The research is a timely reminder that investment in modern infrastructure in support of our health and social infrastructure makes more than just economic sense.

“It contributes significantly to improved outcomes for patients and for the elderly in particular. Over the next 25 years, the population aged over 75 is estimated to grow bto almost 10 million people. We are a long way from being prepared for that additional demand and yet are already well behind in terms of adequate facilities to deal with the needs of today’s population.”