A legacy of aged and unsuitable assets, limited capital investment with a large backlog of maintenance, ever greater demands on services, with ever-increasing cost pressures, combined with ever reducing funding. Sound familiar? It should, although this description is taken from the utility and rail sectors from some years ago, but could so aptly apply to the NHS of today.
So, what did those sectors do about it, and why is this description no longer relevant to them today? In part, the answer lies in Asset Management.
What is asset management? Asset Management is about maximising value to n organisation (such as an NHS Trust) from its assets, i.e. the estate.
It starts with understanding and articulating what stakeholders need – the assurance that asset risks are identified and managed, that compliance requirements are satisfied, and that the environment the assets support is safe and fit for purpose, enabling and supporting the delivery of effective patient care, all within available funding limits.
This is translated into asset-related targets, decisions, plans and activities, delivered systematically and effectively.
Why adopt Asset Management? To do this, we need a common language, the right tools and information, and, essentially, good knowledge and understanding of good practice in asset management. Modern asset management incorporates good use of asset information, integrated risk management and consideration of whole-life costing, resulting in sustainable control of performance, but above all it aligns the way that organisations work towards common goals – it involves people.
Why now? There is a unique opportunity for the NHS as we emerge from the most demanding circumstances in the history of the service posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. There is a need to learn lessons, and to ensure that the much-promised investment in the estate in the form of the Health Infrastructure Plan, the backlog investment programme, and the extended capital programme, is spent effectively and efficiently.
IHEEM has established a Working Group to raise awareness of Asset Management and develop a framework for deployment across the NHS, to be endorsed by the Institute of Asset Management. As part of this work, we have joined forces with Asset Wisdom to provide access to learning:
Asset Management Foundation Award Course (Online)
We have also created a survey for members to establish their understanding and desire for Asset Management, this anonymous survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete and can be found here:
Please complete the survey before Friday 2nd July 2021.
If you have any further questions or are interested in finding more about this agenda please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call IHEEM Head Office on 02392 823 186.