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Fri April 16 2021

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Report says new buildings save lives

24 Nov 15 Property developers are claiming to have established a correlation between death rates in hospitals and the age of the buildings.

A report published by the British Property Federation (BPF) says that newly-built hospitals are more likely to have low mortality rates. Research by Bolt Partners found that of the Acute Trusts in the UK that are new-builds three out of the 19 (16%) are incurring “significantly below average” deaths, compared with 13 out of 118 Trusts (11%) with older buildings.

There were 121 fewer observed deaths than expected across the 19 Trusts that have new buildings, a 1% reduction in mortality rate.  Applied across all NHS Acute Trusts, this 1% reduction in mortality rate would see a reduction in deaths of 2,900 deaths per annum, it is suggested.

The BPF concludes that encouraging private investment in healthcare real estate could help the National Health Service prevent almost 3,000 deaths per year.

Modern facilities also have a 30% lower rate of patients falling over and 10% lower overall patient harm.            Applying the fall rate of new-build Trusts to the 209 Trusts with older buildings, there would have been 3,800 fewer falls in one year.

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BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said: “There is a clear correlation between new buildings and the quality of patient care that is provided within them. Healthcare real estate is a vital part of the UK’s infrastructure, and as we face an increasingly ageing population and the NHS becomes more strained, now more than ever we want to make clear to government the role that the real estate industry can play in ensuring the future health of the NHS.”

Graham Roberts, chief executive of Assura Group and chair of the BPF’s healthcare committee, added: “The research is a timely reminder that investment in modern infrastructure in support of our health and social infrastructure makes more than just economic sense. It contributes significantly to improved outcomes for patients and for the elderly in particular. Over the next 25 years, the population aged over 75 is estimated to grow by almost 10 million people. We are a long way from being prepared for that additional demand and yet are already well behind in terms of adequate facilities to deal with the needs of today's population.”

The full report is on the BPF website.

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