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In light of the NHS’s huge financial challenge of saving £22billion by 2020/21 and Lord Carter's recent review of hospital productivity, DAC Beachcroft's health estates experts have produced guidance on the effectiveness of Strategic Estates Partnerships (SEPs) in helping to meet these cost efficiency targets.
Alongside Lord Carter's report, which suggests how savings of up to £5 billion can be achieved, SEPs will encourage savings through a practical approach, which can be delivered quickly with immediate benefit to an organisation. In essence, SEPs are a collaborative approach to estate and asset management with a private sector partner becoming part of the planning and decision-making process to deliver substantial savings.
SEPs are partnerships created by Trusts and private sector partners to develop and enhance the Trust's estate to achieve a number of aims, including:
A Trust may want to enter into a SEP in order to take advantage of:
In essence, SEPs are a collaborative approach to estate and asset management with the private sector partner becoming part of the planning and decision-making process. This can be in relation to either the existing operational management of a Trust's estate, or purely in relation to new projects (or even a mixture of both).
The central pillar of SEPs is the focus on the private sector assisting the Trust in delivering an effective, cost-efficient estate which delivers value for money.
SEPs can take any number of structures; however, the most common structure is through the creation of an equal partnership between the Trust and SEP partner, with the creation of a joint venture company ("JVC") through which the SEP will be performed.
The Trust and the private sector partner will each take an equal share in the JVC, with the JVC itself either being a limited company or an LLP. The business of the JVC will be the subject of a plan, agreed between the Trust and the private sector partner, through which the business aims of the SEP will be realised.
This single, agreed strategy between the Trust and the private sector partner (whether for the whole Trust estate or simply new projects) has the aim to generate revenue and make savings where possible, which is often used to fund improved clinical services and facilities.
If the joint venture model is to be followed, then the SEP will require the following documentation:
The notable benefits typically associated with SEPs include: