Navigating the Challenges of Maintaining an NHS Facility
Taking over the responsibility of maintaining an NHS facility can be a daunting task. With a diverse range of assets to manage and stringent compliance requirements to meet, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your estate and a robust maintenance plan in place.
Understanding Your Estate: Start by assessing the physical condition of the buildings, including their age, structural integrity, and existing maintenance issues. Consider factors such as the size and scope of the estate, the criticality of assets, the age and condition of buildings, their primary uses, and current energy usage.
Essential Documents: Access to key documents is vital for understanding the current state of the facility and planning for future maintenance. Ensure you have building plans, risk assessments, asset registers, energy efficiency reports, emergency evacuation plans, and health and safety policies.
Managing Assets Without Manuals: If you're responsible for assets without maintenance instruction manuals, seek out this information by contacting the manufacturer, sourcing it online, or consulting with experienced staff or contractors.
Dealing with Absent Warranties: Understand the implications of not having warranties for certain assets. Explore whether warranties can be reissued or if service contracts are in place.
Setting Up a New Maintenance Plan: Establish a comprehensive maintenance plan that considers the unique needs and challenges of the healthcare sector. Prioritise maintenance activities based on asset importance, adhere to regulatory compliance, focus on preventative maintenance, quantify budget requirements, ensure staffing needs are met, support sustainability goals, integrate technology, manage vendor relationships, and plan for emergencies.
Standardising maintenance procedures and creating an audit trail for compliance is essential for meeting the challenges of maintaining an NHS facility. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) successfully adopted the SFG20 maintenance system to meet its compliance challenges and support the vital work of the NHS.
To learn more about navigating the challenges of maintaining an NHS facility and to access practical guidance, download the comprehensive guide "Taking Over Responsibility for Maintaining an NHS Facility".