Looking forward - a plan for Leeds NHS Trust


Estates strategies are vital for large healthcare organisations. To have the estate you need in ten years time, you need to know where you stand now, what you’ll need in future, and how you’re going to get there.

However, many organisations make the mistake of preparing an estates strategy, and then never looking at it again. Leeds Community Healthcare Trust (LCH) wanted something that wouldn’t just sit on the shelf – they wanted a live document that could be used every day. They came to Community Ventures to create an estates strategy plan.

The solution

The Community Ventures team have had staff embedded within LCH for a number of years. Community Ventures work as the Trust’s in-house estates team, with team members working from the LCH offices, with personnel able to flex and change as different expertise is needed. They’re part of the business, and understand LCH’s priorities, issues and goals.

When looking at creating an estates strategy plan for LCH, they looked at three separate parts:

  • Where are we now? The team reviewed where the Trust currently stands in regards to their estates portfolio, including lease information, building condition, costs and any immediate priorities.
  • Where do we want to be? Community Ventures considered what the aims and objectives of the strategies should be, linked to the Trust overall vision and their clinical ambitions.
  • How can we get there? The plan detailed what needs to happen to deliver LCH’s estates vision.

The Result

The end result was the creation of a three year plan which addresses LCH’s most immediate priorities.

Competing priorities were scored, so that people looking at the strategy could see immediately which objectives were most important, and this ensures the organisation’s board can understand how and why work is being prioritised, and can easily monitor progress. It also means the finance team can have a realistic understanding of any investments that the Trust needs to make, and any savings that can be made.

Importantly, the plan means all LCH staff can appreciate where their service and building fits into the overall estates plan.

The plan focuses on tangible benefits, and is able to respond and adapt to changes in the clinical services strategy. The board will be updated on progress against the three year plan every six months, and at the end of each year, another year’s plan will be developed, meaning the board will always be able to see three years ahead.