My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) has made the following statement:
I am today announcing the publication of the Government response to the Naylor review.
In March 2017, Sir Robert Naylor published his independent review, “NHS Property and Estates: Why the estate matters for patients”. It highlighted not just the scale of the challenge we face in ensuring that the NHS has both the buildings and equipment that it needs, but also the scale of the opportunity open to us. It set out how, by taking a more strategic approach, the NHS can generate money to reinvest in new or updated premises and in better patient care. Unused land can be released for much-needed housing, driving regeneration and creating jobs. Using healthcare buildings more efficiently can reduce running costs and deliver more integrated care.
The Government welcome the review and its recommendations, which we will implement in conjunction with national partners and the NHS.
Sir Robert set out the progress needed on three key themes to transform the NHS estate, and we are taking action in response. The themes highlighted by the review are leadership and capability, national planning and funding, and incentivising action locally. We are taking action on each of these themes.
First, we have created a new NHS property board, of which I am the chair. This brings together all the key national players and will act as a single point of leadership for the system on estate matters. We are improving capability at a local level by creating a new national strategic estates planning and advisory service, to help the NHS move from planning to delivery. This team has evolved over the last year as we have brought together all the local strategic estates advisers into a single team to provide expert advice to the NHS.
Second, we are taking steps to improve national planning and funding. Sir Robert gave a clear estimate of the level of funding required to enable the transformation of the estate to meet the vision of the five year forward view. It recommended this could be found through Government capital, private finance and proceeds from the disposal of surplus NHS land.
The Chancellor, in his autumn Budget, announced an additional £10 billion package of capital investment over the course of this Parliament. The Government have committed over £3.9 billion of capital for the NHS. This will support the NHS to increase the proceeds from the sale of surplus land to £3.3 billion. We expect it to be supplemented by private investment, where this provides good value for money. It is likely some of this will come from the types of schemes that already fund primary care facilities. With this £10 billion package of capital investment, we will develop a pipeline of transformational STP projects over the next five years so that the NHS can deliver on the vision of the five year forward view.
The first group of schemes to benefit from this new combined STP funding have already been announced and patients will see the benefits from this investment across a wide range of care settings.
Finally, we are taking action to incentivise local NHS organisations to take a more strategic approach to estates planning and management. I can reassure NHS organisations that they will be able to retain receipts from land sales, so these can be reinvested in the NHS estate, to renew and replace outdated facilities and to address backlog maintenance, in line with local priorities and STP strategies. Where surplus land is developed for housing, NHS staff will be given the right of first refusal on any affordable homes built. We have an ambition that this will allow up to 3,000 NHS workers and their families living in areas where accessing affordable housing can be challenging to own their home.
The Government have delivered their share of the funding needed; the NHS must also play its part. It cannot be right for NHS properties to remain unused and empty when their disposal could generate funds for reinvestment and thus improve facilities and services for patients. As Sir Robert recommended, in order to access capital funding STPs will need to develop robust estates plans with stretching disposal strategies and that reduce running costs and address backlog maintenance. The local NHS needs to act quickly to develop these plans and will be supported by advisors from the local strategic estates planning team.
I would like to again express my gratitude to Sir Robert, his advisory board and review team for their time, expertise and commitment.
The statement is available online at: http://www.parliament. uk/writtenstatements.