In December 2017, HFC carried out a survey of NHS Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) professionals about improving productivity. In particular, we were keen to find out how easy it is for NHS colleagues to find out about possible solutions and suppliers.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed.

Key responses included:

  • Most respondents (90%) used contacts outside their own organisation and 78% used an Internet search. Half used existing networks or professional organisations
  • It was a similar position when we asked about finding suppliers to deliver a product or service. Respondents relied on asking around within their own organisation or through their personal networks in other bodies, but searching the internet was used by 80% of people
  • Although most felt that these sources worked well most or all of the time, this can be time consuming and does not always lead to the best possible option or the widest range of ideas, including innovations

HFC has been reviewing for some time how we can support healthcare EFM professionals to be more efficient, make the best use of their time and find ready access to potential solutions and innovative products.

We therefore asked for views on the concept of a “knowledge exchange” to help healthcare EFM professionals share ideas and information, and more easily find suppliers.

  • 100% of respondents were interested in the concept as a way of enabling discussion between NHS colleagues – as a way of seeking advice and sharing ideas
  • 100% of respondents were interested in the concept as a way of sourcing suppliers
  • 90% of respondents said they would use such a service

HFC is therefore launching the new online FM Knowledge Exchange – it’s free to healthcare EFM professionals and it’s always available and accessible through a range of media, making it a handy guide on your desk or in your pocket. Our set of online tools are grouped into four categories:

  • Innovate – Case studies, project summaries and new initiatives
  • Collaborate – Ask and answer questions from fellow healthcare EFM professionals
  • Learn – Events diary
  • Source – Supplier directory

We also asked what colleagues thought were the most important themes for us to cover. The most common was Fire and Security with 80% of respondents choosing that category, with several other themes also scoring highly including building contractors, construction and repairs; cleaning; energy and utilities.

Click here to find out more and join up for free.