A data driven solution to primary care estates planning

The NHS England General Practice Premises Policy Review, 2019, identified the need for a more comprehensive primary care data set to support integrated clinical services and estates planning.

To do this, there needed to be a level of understanding of the current estate available within primary care that could be used to deliver services, the quality of the estate and how it was being utilised.

SHAPE was used to display the data gathered as part of a national primary care data gathering programme delivered on behalf of NHSE. The data mapping tool was already preloaded with relevant primary care information such as NHS boundaries, practice list sizes, contract information, dispensing information. SHAPE also included population demographic and projections, deprivation, and disease prevalence.

To further enhance this the SHAPE team:

  • Worked with CHP and stakeholders to understand which data needed to be overlaid, to create multi-faceted views
  • Overlaid the estates data with workforce information, to support future planning
  • Developed varying permission levels for data views, including editing rights for some users and restrictions on sensitive data
  • Developed national benchmarking tools across patient list sizes, building sizes and workforce
  • Created RAG rating visuals to highlight property condition and comparisons, to support capital investment decisions
  • Built in export capabilities and summary tables to support with report writing and presentations

These tools, alongside useful functionality already within SHAPE, such as travel time analysis and population catchment creation, created a rich single source of information for systems.

The data held within SHAPE provides PCNs and ICBs with a holistic view of their primary care estate, crucially overlaid with population projections and key health indicators to understand where demand for services is currently and could be in the future.

Users can drill down to CCG, PCN or even practice level to better understand their estate, overlaid with patient and workforce information.

The information gathered as part of this work has latterly been used to prepopulate an online estates planning toolkit. The PCN Service and Estates Planning Toolkit, provides a national framework that supports PCNs to identify changes required to their primary care estate, such as where buildings and services are in relation to population needs.

The web based application pools information from SHAPE, including population predictions, health priorities and existing estate, to inform future estates investment plans.

The tool provides NHS England with a consistent approach to estates planning to be used by the 1250 PCNs across England.