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FOI release

FOI – 000199 Refurbishment and funding with NHS Estate (HTML)

Published on 16 September 2022

Date received - 25 August 2022 | Date responded - 16 September 2022

Request

I am involved in a project to provide additional GP teaching facilities at a GP practice in Tayside. The premises are being refurbished and Dundee City Council planners have insisted upon expensive ventilation costing £40k.

When this project was costed in 2021 the new ventilation requirements were not a requirement and were unforeseen. There are now insufficient funds to fund this.

I have skim read the new Health Facilities Scotland guidance.

I would refer you to page 6:

"In other types of healthcare facility that are outside of the hospital curtilage, for example GP practices, health centres, minor injuries units, dental, ophthalmic and podiatry clinics, mental health facilities, respite and long stay care homes and hospices, a risk assessment of the nature of the treatment being delivered, condition of the patients and intensity of use needs to be undertaken by those responsible for the facility in order to determine the extent to which this guidance will be applicable."

I would like NSS to clarify whether DCC planners have the right to insist upon ventilation or whether as per the guidance a risk assessment can determine otherwise?

Also do NSS have funding available for these ventilation upgrades as this could potentially have a huge impact across the NHS estate?

Response

I refer to your freedom of information request that we received on 25 August 2022. I can advise you that we have now completed the search of our records and can provide you with the following information:

I am involved in a project to provide additional GP teaching facilities at a GP practice in Tayside. The premises are being refurbished and Dundee City Council planners have insisted upon expensive ventilation costing £40k.

When this project was costed in 2021 the new ventilation requirements were not a requirement and were unforeseen. There are now insufficient funds to fund this.

I have skim read the new Health Facilities Scotland guidance.

I would refer you to page 6:

"In other types of healthcare facility that are outside of the hospital curtilage, for example GP practices, health centres, minor injuries units, dental, ophthalmic and podiatry clinics, mental health facilities, respite and long stay care homes and hospices, a risk assessment of the nature of the treatment being delivered, condition of the patients and intensity of use needs to be undertaken by those responsible for the facility in order to determine the extent to which this guidance will be applicable."

I would like NSS to clarify whether DCC planners have the right to insist upon ventilation or whether as per the guidance a risk assessment can determine otherwise?

Under section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act 2002, an organisation does not have to provide the information if it does not hold that information. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) cannot comment on whether or not Dundee City Council (DCC) can insist on the application of this document however there is a legal requirement to provide ventilation into an occupied space.

For healthcare, the recommended methods of achieving the requirements is outlined in SHTM 03-01, this includes the requirement to dilute pathogens and odours. The guidance is not retrospective and it applies to new build projects and major refurbishments, however earlier versions of this document have been available since 2011. The guidance is produced on a UK wide basis in conjunction with Health Boards, Health Trusts in other devolved administrations and industry experts. If you wish to contact DCC to make an FOI request, this can be done using the following link: Dundee City Council FOI.

Also do NSS have funding available for these ventilation upgrades as this could potentially have a huge impact across the NHS estate? NSS can confirm there are no centrally distributed funds available for ventilation upgrades across the NHS Estate. The NHS Boards are responsible for the capital and revenue projects which would upgrade their ventilation systems (if required) and they would be best placed to advise on costs.

If you wish to contact any of the Health Boards, you can do so using the following contact details:

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information please contact Associate Director Information Security & Governance, within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.

Contact

Email: nss.foi@nhs.scot

Address

NHS National Services Scotland Headquarters Gyle Square 1 South Gyle Crescent Edinburgh EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.