The pressures on the NHS have never been greater as the programme for this week’s NHS Property 2015 demonstrates.
On their own, the projected rates of dementia and obesity present a future funding challenge. Add to that, a welcome change in attitudes to mental health. But as understanding about mental well-being increases, so too does the expectation that the NHS should provide the same level of care and support for mental health as it does for physical health. And all of this against a backdrop of a population that is living longer and that will need increasing levels of support and care into old age.
The long term social, economic and environmental sustainability of the NHS is therefore a massive issue for public interest and concern.
The entire NHS built estate is thought to comprise about 25 million sq metres of occupied space, and its monetary value is estimated at £30 billion. Almost too large to comprehend.