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NHS 'could reduce estate costs by £2.3bn'
The NHS could achieve annual savings of £2.3 billion by managing its estate more efficiently, according to a new report.
Consultancy EC Harris said the health service has recently made improvements in property procurement and facilities management, resulting in a 53 per cent reduction in wasted space since 2009.
However, the firm calculated that there is still a total of 157 hectares - an area larger than Hyde Park - of wasted or underutilised space within the NHS estate.
EC Harris, which has now published four annual reports on the efficiency of property management in the health service, said many NHS trusts are actively managing their estates and achieving savings. It suggested the biggest challenge now lies in closing the gap between the best and worst performing trusts.
"Trusts should be planning strategically to look at long-term savings," commented author of the report Conor Ellis.
"In the decentralised NHS world, this means collaborating with other trusts, local authorities and other parties to form partnerships."
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