Barts Health NHS Trust are reimaging their estate

Barts Health is one of the largest NHS trusts in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers with a workforce of c24,000 and five major hospital sites. ETL supported a multi-disciplinary project to source, acquire and relocate over 570 Barts Health staff into a flexible, sustainable, technology-driven and collaborative modern office space at a significantly reduced cost.

ETL Property Consultancy Barts NHS Trust Churchill Place Canary Wharf

The move addressed legacy property issues from the 1930s listed building that suffered from ineffective floor layouts, outdated mechanical and electrical systems, high running costs, poor IT infrastructure and lack of modern facilities to enable integrated and agile working. This had resulted in low staff utilisation and satisfaction.

Timing

Barts Health took the opportunity of the imminent cessation of their lease at their then corporate offices site and the emerging operational strategic drive for more integrated Group Support Services as a catalyst for developing its vision for a Group Support Service Hub augmented by ‘touchdown’ spaces at its hospital sites. ETL’s Property team worked closely with their client Barts Health to help develop their key future office requirements, guided them through selected options and created a scoring matrix to support their financial business case in identifying a preferred option. The Property team advised and supported the lease negotiation with a multinational bank, securing a 25% reduction in their current occupational costs, and increased certainty on future costs through fixed rental and service charged uplifts for the lease duration.


Stakeholder engagement

Working closely with the Barts Health project delivery boards and relocation champions, ETL’s Project Managers oversaw the fit-out of the space in Canary Wharf, delivering to programme and budget, ensuring client objectives remained at the core of the project. Barts preferred facility needed to meet the needs of staff, providing collaborative workspaces, access to Wi‐Fi, quiet space to facilitate confidential conversations, meetings rooms, relevant audio-visual systems, and space for social interaction and rest.

Flexibility was key

Canary Wharf’s largely open and modern floorplates encouraged flexible and adaptable design to be embedded from the outset and enabled appropriate zoning of space to accommodate different working practices. Through ETL’s staffing profile of each team, ambitious but realistic staff to desk provision led to a substantial reduction in dedicated desk space, creating the opportunity for more flexible and collaborative areas to be rooted within the design. IT was at the forefront, adopting agile working principles with all staff provided with new laptops and an integrated desk and room booking system accessed remotely, supported by sensors to monitor utilisation across the office. In response to coronavirus guidelines workspaces have been planned to help social distancing, with a future opportunity for these to be repurposed enabling truly flexible workspaces for an adaptable workforce.

This transformational move was delicately but robustly managed by Barts Health with the support of ETL’s Programme Management team, ensuring that actions were completed on time and encouraging staff engagement across the whole workforce.

Sustainable and flexbile

This transformation project will substantially reduce the Trust’s long-term running costs, enhance staff wellbeing, and foster enhanced communication and collaboration across teams. Furthermore, by providing accommodation within an eco-efficient BREEAM excellent facility the Trust will benefit from reduced carbon consumption in more sustainable premises and deliver high-quality services in accommodation that meets the needs of their staff for the long term.