The nation’s ageing population, and the complexity of their healthcare needs, is driving demand for medical services in the UK. Coupled with the uncertain economic climate, this is placing pressure on the limited budgets of the NHS. As a result, Trusts are finding it difficult to fund new facilities, because they are often unable to spend large amounts of capital on buying a new building or extension outright.
With ongoing labour shortages in construction and the inflated price of materials presenting additional problems, NHS Trusts and healthcare organisations need a building solution that enables them to manage their budgets and cashflows flexibly.
Rental modular buildings offer the flexibility necessary to answer this problem.
Optimising limited healthcare budgets
Following the 2023 Spring Budget announcement in March, the NHS’s capital and revenue budgets remained restricted in the absence of further funding from Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). With DHSC funds set to stay as they are, until the current spending review period concludes in 2024/2025, NHS Trusts will require greater financial flexibility when investing in hospitals and other building work. The squeeze of high inflation – an 8.7 percent rise in the material price index of ‘all work’ involved in construction in March 2023 vs March 2022 – makes agility even more pivotal.
The lease of modular buildings ensures such flexibility by allowing Trusts and other healthcare organisations to spend smaller amounts over a given period of time. This form of transaction is well suited to the NHS whose budget is segemented into CapEx – for investments in buildings and equipment – and OpEx – which covers operational costs.
Supporting the NHS amid public sector development
An additional benefit for Trusts when hiring modular solutions is the improved responsiveness to expansion in the public sector. A real-life example of this is the government’s promise to deliver 50,000 more nurses by 2024, an ambition that would be better supported with the introduction of more healthcare facilities to accommodate a higher number of staff and enable patients to receive care, faster.
Creating more capacity for patients in hospitals and health centres could also provide funding advantages. Some hospitals receive a specific amount of funding based upon the number of patients coming through the door; the rapid capacity increase that modular buildings provide could help Trusts to secure more funding, whilst ensuring an improved service for patients.
Flexibility for now and the future
Modular solutions can be hired over a short or long period of time. This allows Trusts and other healthcare organisations to manage their budgets more flexibly, safe in the knowledge that the cost of renting the building(s) will stay fixed throughout the contract, even during economic turbulence.
Premier Modular boasts one of the UK’s biggest and newest interchangeable rental fleets and can configure temporary modules to whatever site they might be located within. Our precision-engineered solutions and fast-paced installation also means any number of facilities, from diagnostic imaging suites and ancillary units to consultation rooms and operating theatres, can be delivered in a cost and time-efficient manner.
Saving time for better services
Modular buildings are no longer just grey boxes, the high-performance of modular buildings easily matches the standard of those constructed through traditional methods. The main difference between the two is simply the reduced amount of time taken to manufacture and install modular solutions.
Such time-efficiency is a huge plus point for NHS Trusts who face an ongoing struggle to optimise their services, as illustrated by the fact waiting lists for hospital treatments in England reached 7.2 million in January this year.
It follows that the time saved in leasing modular buildings, and the capacity issues they relieve, could make organisational-wide improvements to staff productivity, quality of care and patient services. To say that these enhancements could still be benefitted from, regardless of demand or economic instability, is huge for the future sustainability of the NHS. To explore Premier Modular’s rental modular solutions in more depth, speak to our specialist team today