First impact maintenance projects are underway

The first wave of estate improvements supported through a new, £2 million impact maintenance fund are now underway. Last year’s small budget surplus enabled us to set up the one-off fund to ‘blitz’ the relatively small estates issues that can cause some of the biggest problems for patient experience. Just under 500 proposals for where to spend the money have been submitted by staff since August when the fund was opened. The estates team and divisional directors of nursing jointly reviewed the submissions alongside logs of divisional estate problems and feedback from patients and regulators.

The impact maintenance fund is for small repairs and improvements – estimated to be no more than £5,000 (as the work is being funded from revenue, not capital budgets). It addresses those often long-standing issues that are really annoying for patients and staff, such as repairs to automatic doors in high traffic areas, repainting clinical and waiting areas, upgrading patient and visitor toilets and bathrooms and replacing worn flooring and poor lighting.

The first wave includes just over 200 improvements across all of our hospitals and 95 have already been completed at St Mary’s and Hammersmith. Contractors have been appointed to each site who have good experience of the facilities to help ensure efficient and smooth planning of the works. The full list of wave one projects is available here. Look out for photos of completed projects on our social media channels. A second wave of projects will be given the go ahead as soon as wave one projects are nearing completion, expected to be before the end of the calendar year.

Director of estates Hugh Gostling said: “Around 50 of the staff submissions were much bigger than the £5,000 limit and will be included in capital planning considerations for next year. We’ve been able to combine a number of others with existing capital projects. In this way, we hope to complete the vast majority of proposals within this financial year.

A second dedicated fund – to improve staff spaces for better well-being, collaboration and engagement – will be opened for proposals in December, with the first wave of projects to get underway from April 2020 and run through to March 2022. The fund will be provided in partnership with Imperial Health Charity who will be investing a lump sum as well as exploring the potential for additional funding through Special Purpose Funds.

Trust chief executive Professor Tim Orchard added: “When we asked staff about challenges to living our values, you cited our poor estate, not enough focus on staff well-being and a need for us to encourage and enable more cross-team working. These new funds are an important part of our response and I’m very grateful for the support of our Charity as well as the hard work and commitment of our estates team.

Imperial Health Charity chief executive Ian Lush said: “As the Trust’s dedicated charity, we are proud to support our fantastic NHS staff. In recent years we have helped to fund a series of improvement projects that are helping to transform the hospital environment for the benefit of patients and staff, including refurbishments of staff rooms, wards and waiting areas as well as larger redevelopments, such as the children’s intensive care unit at St Mary’s. Working in partnership with the Trust, we are determined to do even more to make things better for everyone in our hospitals.”