NHS Estates and Facilities Management Weekly Update


Below are this week’s key messages from the national NHS Estates & Facilities Team. Please email any questions or comments you have on any of these items to: [email protected] or follow the links where provided.


NHS Chef 2021

We are pleased to confirm the launch of the NHS Chef 2021 Competition. As well as a traditional competition, NHS Chef 2021 includes a mentoring event and practical sessions. Registration is invited for two-person NHS chef/catering teams until 12 noon on July 30, 2021.

The idea for a new award that celebrates NHS chefs was put forward in the Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food published in October 2020. It was part of a range of recommendations to support and develop hospital chefs, to: make them feel a part of the wider catering sector; inspire and motivate them; and celebrate their successes and recognise excellence. NHS Chef 2021 will highlight the best of NHS catering, chefs' skills, catering knowledge and menu engineering. 

The competition is split into three parts, with seven regional events taking place during August and September, the winners of which will move into a national final. A mentoring event will be held from September 28 - 30 at the MKN Office and Presentation Kitchen in Cannock. This will allow finalists to network, attend practical sessions to help develop their entries for the finals and to work with their mentors.

Each team will have 90 minutes to prepare, cook and present a three-course meal in line with hospital food budgets. The meal must reflect Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services, the Department of Health and Social Care's Obesity Strategy and must be nutritionally balanced in accordance with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) guidance.

The dishes must be garnished in a way that is realistic within an NHS hospital setting and all hot meals will be placed in a serving trolley/hotplate for 10 minutes before being judged.

The winning team from each regional event will progress to the final, which will be held between October 25 and November 5 at The Cooking School in Warminster. The competition is only open to chefs/caterers who are paid directly through the NHS, or through its contracted catering providers, or suppliers who prepare meals for the NHS.

For the full terms and conditions and to apply for this exciting new event, please email: [email protected] with ‘NHS Chef 2021’ as the subject line.

If you are a professional chef or caterer who prepares food for NHS staff, visitors and patients, or you know colleagues who are then please encourage them to apply. This really is an exciting opportunity for all NHS chefs and caterers.


The NHS Great Food Programme: For Culinary and Kitchen Teams

This programme incorporates 12 months of work-based learning which is open to chefs of any age. 

Chefs will take part in a mix of work-based learning and interactive workshops. Participants will explore subjects including: menu specification; portion control and budget constraints; as well as improving efficiency and reducing food waste.

The programme will be further enriched with sessions based around nutrition and dietetics, food safety, kitchen operations and culinary innovation. 

Anyone wishing to register their early interest should e-mail: [email protected]


Apprentices in NHS Estates and Facilities 

Monday July 12, 2021 saw the delivery of an employer-focused apprenticeship event for NHS Estates and Facilities (E&F), run in conjunction with Health Education England. It was great to see over 200 staff log on and get to grips with all things ‘Apprentice’ from the NHS E&F perspective. The aim was to showcase how apprenticeships can be utilised as a tool within overall workforce planning, playing a pivotal role in upskilling, retraining, and levelling up the workforce so it can continue to thrive and meet current and future challenges. 

The main themes of the day were: 

The value of apprenticeships in;

• Future-proofing your workforce skills, especially in growth areas such as construction, digital, clean energy

• Upskilling and providing career development for existing staff

• Improving retention of staff as apprentices are more likely to stay in the organisation post training

• Helping to tackle some of our workforce challenges including attracting younger people into E&F and providing opportunity to people underrepresented in the E&F workforce

• Building a multi-skilled workforce - increasing the flexibility of the workforce and also widening the appeal to future potential candidates

• Being employer led and understanding that you are in control of working with education providers to design the package you need for your organisation.

How to make apprenticeships work within your organisation;

• Get leadership and existing workforce on-side in terms of the value and benefits they will bring alongside the commitment needed to make it work

• Think creatively - for example blocks of training or weekly day release, offer back to back apprenticeships to keep staff, part time, multi skilled apprenticeships, work collaboratively or even regionally 

• Workforce planning is key to:

o Map the skills you need

o Create opportunities to retain apprentices once they’ve completed the programme

o Enable services to manage workloads when apprentices are off site training. 

We hope this event will have helped to stimulate more apprenticeship activity and in turn support the NHS E&F workforce to be an exemplar employer, fully equipped with the skills, agility and talent required to deliver excellence now and in the future.

The slide deck presentation, FAQs and other useful information from the day as well as a recording of the event will be available from the Collaboration Hub in the next few days. Please look out for this and do also contact: [email protected] directly if you would find it helpful to discuss the issue more generally and the support she might be able to offer. 


Health Infrastructure Plan

Please note the links below in relation to the announcement by the Government about the Health Instructure Plan. This forms a key part of the Government’s manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals:

Health infrastructure plan: selection process for the next 8 new hospitals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Health infrastructure plan: selection process for the next 8 new hospitals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


NHS Premises Assurance Model (PAM)

As set out in the NHS Standard Contract (Service Conditions 17.9) completion of the NHS PAM is required by all NHS Trusts annually. Previously this has been provided as a spreadsheet.

The NHS PAM data for 2020-21 needs to be completed and submitted by July 23, 2021. A number of national webinars took place recently. The slides and recordings from these sessions are available now from the Collaboration Hub and might be of use to E&F teams in completing the returns for their organisations. Please see the Latest News and Assurance/PAM areas.

It would be appreciated if E&F teams could assure themselves now that action is in hand to complete the data for their organisations by 23 July. If there are expected to be any difficulties in meeting this deadline then please e-mail: [email protected] as soon as possible with the details marking for the urgent attention of Michael Bellas.

Please also check out the Collaboration Hub (Latest News and Assurance/PAM areas) where there are now some exemplar PAM reports available which might be useful to estates and facilities teams.


National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness

The next scheduled webinar in this series takes place on August 17 at 12noon. The focus of this session is ‘Living and Breathing the National Standards in the NHS’. Invitations have already been issued. However, if you would like to attend you can still register directly via the link in the key events section of the Collaboration Hub.

Recordings of the recent webinars on: Audit; Implementation and governance; and Risk categories and blended areas are available via the Collaboration Hub.


HTM 03-01: Specialist Ventilation for Healthcare Buildings

We will be scheduling a national webinar for July 29 at 11am which will discuss the latest guidance on ventilation, including lessons learned from COVID. Invitations will be sent to Directors of Estates and Facilities. However, please e-mail: [email protected] if you would also like receive an invitation. The document is available on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website. However, for ease of reference this can be accessed from the following link:

NHS England » (HTM 03-01) Specialised ventilation for healthcare buildings


Power Purchase Agreements

A successful “Introduction to Power Purchase Agreements” national webinar took place on June 24. The slidedeck from that presentation along with the resulting Q&A document is now available on the Collaboration Hub. A recording of this webinar will also be available on the Hub soon.


Greener NHS Fleet Data Collection

Estates and Facilities teams will wish to be aware of a direct approach to them by the Greener NHS team at NHS England and NHS Improvement. This relates to the fleet data collection. 

If this resides within estates and facilities at your respective organisations it would be appreciated if you could arrange to provide this information. However, if this is not an estates and facilities responsibility in your organisation then it would still be helpful if you could share with the appropriate team for completion. The deadline for completion is August 5.

A copy of the communication from the Greener NHS Team, along with the associated documents can be found on the Collaboration Hub. In the event of any queries please e-mail: [email protected].


Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) Grant Scheme

We would also like to bring to your attention to the grant scheme from the OZEV which subsidises the costs of installing electric vehicle chargers. The contribution is limited to 75% of purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of £350 for each socket, and up to a maximum of 40 across all sites for each NHS Trust. This is currently available to all NHS Trusts. More details are available here

We encourage all NHS organisations to review this information and consider applying – either to service existing electric vehicles or support the transition to such vehicles in the near future.

Please e-mail: [email protected] in case of any further queries. 



Please follow the national NHS Estates and Infrastructure team on twitter @EstatesNHS


NHS England and NHS Improvement National Estates Team: Collaboration Hub

The Collaboration Hub is a protected space for local NHS estates and facilities teams to access key information as well as to collaborate and to share ideas and successes. Access to the Collaboration Hub for individuals from local NHS estates teams can be arranged by e-mailing: [email protected] 

We have been arranging ‘masterclasses’ to help registered members understand and navigate the Hub more effectively. These have taken place on an ad hoc basis to date. However, following the very positive feedback we are now looking to formalise these on a more regular basis. If you are interested in attending a masterclass (these last approximately 30 minutes) then please e-mail the above mailbox and Joy Heaps and Stuart Robinson will follow up directly.

Could we also request that if you have not logged onto the Hub recently then you do so as soon as possible. As part of our governance procedures we are currently undertaking an exercise to review those members who according to our records have not accessed the Hub during the past 12 months. We are contacting those members and it is possible that membership will be withdrawn if there is no response to the e-mails which have been sent (by Stuart Robinson). In addition, if your e-mail address has changed over the past year (perhaps to .nhs.net), or you have moved to another NHS Trust then please e-mail us with the details ([email protected]) so that we can update our records. 


Thank You

Our thanks to all of those working in estates and facilities for all that you do in maintaining the NHS estate, facilitating patient care as well as supporting the ongoing response to COVID-19. 

Please continue to stay safe and access the support material available on the Collaboration Hub. The service could not function without you.

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