Vanguard Healthcare Solutions is pleased to share part one of a three-part series produced for the peer reviewed British Journal of Healthcare Management, outlining the case for more modular facilities in the NHS to support tackling the backlog in patient care and building maintenance.

Against the backdrop of the recently announced Health and Social Care Levy, and within the wider context of COVID-19 and historic NHS struggles, the first part of this series identifies how delivering modular facilities over traditional brick and mortar units could support the healthcare service to recover at a far more cost-effective and time-efficient rate.

Understanding the complex issues facing the NHS is a critical part of assessing the best approach for a fast recovery, which is of course a significant priority as waiting lists continue to rise at exponential rates. With the current waiting lists at a record-high 5.4 million people waiting for routine procedures and operations by June 2021, – a number which is projected to increase as hospital services start to return to pre-Covid capacity – it is evident that the core issue facing the NHS is that of capacity.

In order to overcome the key issue facing the health service, the NHS must therefore focus its efforts on expanding capacity in a way that meets its tight budget and time constraints, whilst twofold delivering exceptional quality of services and futureproofing its facilities. Often, the delivery of traditional brick and mortar facilities can be a hindrance to effective management of patient demand, with maintenance backlogs and shortages of space creating a barrier to efficiency and capacity expansion, exposing the critical need to identify an innovative solution to the problem.

Modular facilities, as analysed in part one of this series, have been used for several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as a cost-effective solution to capacity issues in the NHS and beyond. Vanguard’s modular solutions have long supported NHS trusts to expand capacity, often during periods of renovation to provide flexible temporary solutions but in recent months, shifting to long-term solutions to permanently increase clinical space.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it is becoming evident that modular facilities could actually provide the high-quality, yet rapid and futureproofed response to capacity expansion that the NHS so urgently needs. Offering expansive benefits such as greater flexibility, faster delivery, enhanced patient and staff experience, and a reduced environmental impact, hospital trusts are becoming attuned to the appeal of modular build.

To read the first part of our three-part series for the British Journal of Healthcare Management, you can find it here.