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.
What we can all do to keep ourselves safe
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week regarding the Government’s COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan, we’d like to remind estates and facilities colleagues of the things we can all do to keep ourselves, our families and each other safe. This is particularly important as more of us start to return to in-person working in a safe, steady and measured way.
There are three priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in England for the autumn and winter:
• Maximising uptake of the vaccine among those that are eligible but have not yet taken up the offer
• Offering booster doses to individuals who received a vaccination in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (priority groups 1-9). We strongly encourage estates and facilities colleagues who are eligible to take up this offer
• Offering a first dose of vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
COVID-19: Updated PHE Guidance on NHS Staff & Student Self-isolation and Return to Work following C19 Contact
Please follow this link to a joint letter from Prerana Issar, Ruth May and Nikki Kanani about the updated guidance from Public Health England for NHS staff and student self-isolation following COVID-19 contact.
This follows the change in arrangements which came into effect on 16 August. The national Estates and Facilities Team has helped to shape this letter so it would be appreciated if this could be brought to the attention of estates and facilities staff, also including those colleagues employed by third parties.
Consultation: Coronavirus and Flu vaccinations for NHS staff and social care workers in England.
The DHSC has launched a consultation on making coronavirus and flu vaccinations compulsory for frontline NHS staff and social care workers in England. The consultation runs until 15 October and further details can be found here.
Skills Enhancement Opportunity: Evaluators Sought for ProCure23 Framework
The ProCure23 Prior Information Notice (PIN) was recently launched to market.
NHS England and NHS Improvement is now requesting your help and support to evaluate submissions to the ProCure23 tender, due to be issued at the end of September. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to a flagship commercial agreement that will provide significant benefits to the public sector, as well as a fantastic opportunity to further your personal and professional development.
Description of the role and what we’re looking for in our evaluators is available here – please log-in to access.
To express an interest in this exciting opportunity then please e-mail: [email protected] by close on September 28 with the title, ‘Evaluators Sought for ProCure23 Framework: Expression of Interest’.
NHS Chef 2021
The NHS Chef 2021 Competition regional events have now concluded, with some fantastic skills on show from the regional finalists.
The regional events required each team to prepare, cook and present a three-course meal in line with hospital food budgets within 90 minutes. The meal had to reflect Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services, the Department of Health and Social Care's Obesity Strategy as well as being nutritionally balanced in accordance with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) guidance.
The dishes also had to be garnished in a way that is realistic within an NHS hospital setting with all hot meals being placed in a serving trolley/hotplate for 10 minutes before being judged.
One team of chefs from each region will now progress to the national final, which takes place between October 25 and November 5 at The Cooking School in Warminster.
Ahead of the national final, the winners of the regional heats will now take part in a mentoring event from September 28 - 30. This will allow finalists to network, attend practical sessions to help develop their entries for the finals and to work with their mentors.
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.
We are extremely grateful to all those who have applied to take part and to their estates and facilities teams for supporting them. Further updates will follow after the mentoring and national final events.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (Phase 3)
Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) was announced on 8 September 2021. For Phase 3 the focus remains on the decarbonisation of heat with funding provided for decarbonisation projects where the heating systems are at the end of their working lives.
Applications will open from 2pm on October 6, 2021. However, funding will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Key points and dates to be aware of are:
• The application form will be available from 2pm on September 15
• Projects should incur costs no earlier than April 1, 2022 and no later than:
• March 31, 2023 for single year projects
• March 31, 2024 for two-year projects
• March 31, 2025 for three-year projects.
This remains similar to Phase 2 of the PSDS phase, namely:
• A whole building approach
• Focus on heat decarbonisation and equipment nearing end of life
• Applicants should be ready to contribute to the cost of replacing equipment like-for-like on top of grant funding
• Carbon cost threshold £325/tCO2e.
It should be noted that a multi-year settlement is now available. There is no cap on funding in terms of the value of the grant which an applicant can apply for. It should also be noted that Salix has not announced the amount of grant funding which it is making available.
Please see this link to the Salix website for more details.
NHS Premises Assurance Model (NHS PAM) 2020-21
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed or supported their organisation in responding to the 2020-21 NHS PAM collection. It has been a difficult time for all of us and your hard work and commitment in doing this is appreciated.
We will be closing the collection on September 30, 2021 and will be starting the analysis of the data thereafter. This will include:
• Reviewing the responses provided to assess the completeness and quality of the data
• Reviewing specific areas within the NHS PAM to identify patterns of responses that indicate where there may be issues with the self-assessment questions asked or the guidance provided
• Using the analysis to identify areas where the policy, standards and guidance may need to be reviewed in more detail.
Those of you who have completed the NHS PAM have been asked to complete a survey to identify the lessons learned that can be implemented for future years.
We are currently developing the reporting from this system and will provide an update on this shortly. In the meantime any further queries should be e-mailed to: [email protected].
National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness – rescheduled national webinar
The remaining scheduled webinar; ‘Living and Breathing the National Standards in the NHS’, will now take place on October 20 at 10am. 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.
Linen and Laundry Supplies
As a result of continuous pressures on suppliers arising from both EU Exit and the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS Trust staff are asked to review their local practices to avoid the creation of additional laundry volumes and charges. Revisions to local policies around changing bed linen and best practice for example may have been introduced and should be followed. This is essential if there is to be a collective responsibility for all sites to have consistent safe practices across healthcare.
For those NHS Trusts using reusable PPE gowns in fluctuating volumes, please maintain contact with your linen and laundry supplier in the coming months to manage ordering of gowns and shelf stock. This will become even more important as we approach the busier winter period.
Please e-mail: [email protected] in the event of any queries or if any further information is required and mark for the attention of Louise Hatwell.
In 2020 a decision was taken to suspend the full PLACE programme due to the operational difficulties and associated risks brought about by COVID-19. PLACE-Lite remained open for healthcare organisations to undertake assessments if they chose to do so. It was great to hear that a number of organisations did run PLACE-Lite and used the results to continue making improvements to the environment for the benefit of patients.
We had hoped to reinstate the full PLACE programme this year. However, due to the continuing uncertainties that remain with COVID-19 we recognise that to do so could be extremely challenging. We have taken the difficult decision to suspend the full programme for a second year and to encourage the use of PLACE-Lite instead.
A note has now gone from NHS Digital to all PLACE contacts confirming the PLACE material, including a PLACE Lite guide is now available. Please note that there are three new non-scoring questions; two on the Organisational - food scorecard (Menu, Choice and Meal Timings section) and one on the Organisational - facilities scorecard (Buildings and Facilities section). You can access the documentation via this link.
Further guidance is available on the EFM system in the ‘Documents’ tab; this includes use of the PLACE-Lite module and using the mobile version (which allows data to be entered directly into EFM via a mobile device during assessments, rather than having to enter data later).
EFM collection system: https://efm.digital.nhs.uk/
PLACE-Lite Mobile version (assessments must be set up on EFM first): https://efm.digital.nhs.uk/placelite/mobile/
We will be encouraging the take up of PLACE-Lite through additional communications and engagement in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime we have arranged a national webinar which will take place on September 30 at 11am. This webinar will cover what this means for your organisation, the forms and guidance notes available, how it will work, what planning you will need to do, who to involve and what to cover in your assessments. Colleagues from both the national Estates and Facilities Team and NHS Digital will take you through the EFM system, explain the results that will be available to you and how to use the PLACE mobile option.
To attend the event please click on the link at the appropriate time:
You do not need an invite in your diary to attend.
In case of any queries about PLACE, PLACE-lite or the webinar on 30 September then please contact: [email protected]
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare: The NHS Forest – Tree Offer
The NHS Forest, run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, is a good practice network for NHS sites looking to develop their green spaces for environmental care and human wellbeing. The network of over 200 sites across the UK has already planted over 77,000 trees. NHS Trusts/sites can contact the NHS Forest for free native British broadleaf saplings to plant on their land in the next tree planting season, starting in November 2021.
Sites can request between 10 and 1,000 trees. The NHS Forest can also provide assistance and guidance with the whole process from species selection, planting protocol, and any press releases or volunteer events. For more information please contact Miriam, the NHS Forest co-ordinator ([email protected]) or to find out more about its work and to join the network please go to https://www.nhsforest.org
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 “overview and 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 one of these sessions (they 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.
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.