Members of HFC will be familiar with our focus on products and services that help them become more effective, efficient and deliver better quality services.

Recently we have consulted members about their priorities. Members have told us that some of their greatest challenges are around ensuring that they comply with new regulations in the most cost effective way, whilst still ensuring quality, and in applying new learning about managing their estates and facilities. Using this feedback we have sought better solutions for members wishing to ensure compliance with a number of regulations, and particularly the fire safety regulations and fire risk assessment procedures.

In collaboration with our Training Partner, Grovenbridge Academy, we also ran a series of Premises Assurance Courses in various locations. The course was launched alongside the original NHS Premises Assurance Model (PAM) guidance and has been updated in line with new versions as they are published. The course is designed to give NHS staff a thorough overview of the requirements of the PAM ready to return to site better equipped to complete the process. The course is also Ofqual accredited which means delegates can earn a Certificate on successful completion of an end of day assessment based on the course content. We receive consistently good feedback from delegates on this course; read delegate comments in this article or read more about the course here.

Members have talked to us about Building Information Modelling (BIM) and we are currently exploring how we can support members to take advantage of the BIM agenda and produce training for members on BIM as it applies to repairs and maintenance.

Looking to the future we are well aware that most Trusts have invested in software solutions to manage the estate. We believe that the Apollo-FM system is one of the best systems on offer and we are looking to build on our work to date to support NHS colleagues in identifying how to do more with less.

In times of financial restrictions there is a huge temptation to cut back on a range of so- called non-frontline services. Training can all too often be seen as a soft target. However, this is a major mistake: up skilling existing staff to take on a wider range of duties and maximise the value from the payroll should be every NHS body’s major priority. Here at HFC we are embracing that philosophy and through our sister company, Grovenbridge Academy (GA), we are looking to extend the range of training on offer to meet NHS needs.

GA is an approved centre of Constructing Excellence in Learning Limited (CELL), which means we can offer nationally accredited and quality assured courses that not only give NHS colleagues both the skills but also the tangible qualifications to help them maximise their contribution to the E&FM team.

Even better news – CELL is now part of the highly successful BRE Academy - one of the largest and most prolific research institutes in the country and with a worldwide reputation for high quality solutions. This will enable the widest possible range of training packages to be available for members. Watch out for further communications on this over the next few weeks.

Useful links:
Fire Risk Assessment
NHS Premises Assurance Course