IHEEM and Healthcare Sector Roundup

I was absolutely delighted that we won the Consultant of the Year award at IHEEM 2021, giving recognition to our recent achievements in the sector. Since then, I’ve had a chance to reflect on our success and consider what is likely to happen over the coming years in the sector.

Like many others, we recognised the potential opportunities within the healthcare sector even before the manifesto commitment from the Conservatives to build 48 new hospitals before 2030 was issued. That announcement, and the large promise of investment, has created a huge opportunity for our industry, in a sector that has always been a strong area of work for Curtins.

We set a strategy to target opportunities in what is now known as the New Hospitals Programme (NHP), and are proud to be working on several of the initial 40 hospitals, along with multiple Trusts who have submitted plans to become one of the next eight to be added to the overall list.

In addition to these projects, we have also won numerous other schemes that range from under £500k to over £100m and cover primary, acute and specialist care, and mental health. At the last count, we estimate that we are working on over £2.5bn in actual and potential projects, not including the other linked work in areas such as life sciences and other research buildings.

Regrettably, the size of the opportunity of NHP and the associated political and procurement pressures has slowed delivery down more than any of us would have liked, and this frustration was definitely a theme of the IHEEM conference. But, it was reassuring to hear that the programme is likely to progress soon via an Alliance Model, much like the one Curtins are now working on for the MOJ in the delivery of another key area of government investment.

Our successful entry for Consultant of the Year was based upon our success in work winning and delivery in the sector, and our commitments to the main strategic priorities of the NHS which are MMC, Carbon Reduction, and Digitalisation. Much of our Research & Development activity over the past years has been in these areas, and we are now adding value on a day to day basis using our various toolkits and our approach to project delivery.

Whilst speaking to other delegates at IHEEM last week, and watching various sessions within the conference programme, it was good to pick up not only the continuing importance of these themes, but also on others where we have a further knowledge and expertise. One particularly interesting area which was discussed in detail was the importance of reusing existing buildings, and the provision of healthcare services from outside of a traditional healthcare model – for example utilising town centre and high street locations which have been hit so hard by the pandemic.

I am excited about the ongoing opportunities in the sector, and look forward to continuing to win and deliver projects over the next 9 years up to the current planned end of NHP in 2030, and beyond.