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Estates has become a key part of every trust’s strategy with the concept of ‘place’ becoming an important part of the patient experience. Whilst the day to day delivery of estates services (and the issues that arise) is the main focus, no trust can deliver an environment for exceptional clinical services if there is not a clear strategic direction within the estates planning process.

The pressure on finance, the arrival of Sustainability and Transformation Plans/Partnerships (STPs) and the Naylor Report have all increased the challenges for those with responsibility for estates. We can assist in the strategic planning process, bringing experience of other trust’s experiences mixed with wider options which come from other public sector bodies and the private sector.

Browne Jacobson is ideally placed to advise on the challenges our clients face in this rapidly changing environment. We offer a single source for all the legal advice needed to manage the estate from strategic advice and structuring through to agreeing licences to occupy, all delivered by lawyers who not only understand their speciality but are also Health Service experts.

What we do...

  • Strategy and structuring - we help our clients to explore options for collaboration, outsourcing or remaining with traditional estates delivery; advising on the restrictions and governance issues as well as setting out the expectations of the private sector in any proposed deal.
  • Planning and development - we assist health clients through the complexities of the planning system. We also advise in relation to disposal of surplus assets, including the need to apply government policy through the Crichel Down Rules, engaging with the development plan system and advising on issues of existing user rights.
  • Joint ventures and development agreements - we are involved in partnering arrangements between NHS trusts and local authorities for development of large scale health and social care facilities. We support NHS clients with land development agreements and joint venture and partnership agreements aimed at delivering clear and cost effective solutions and focusing on what the parties are trying to achieve together, not just the legal risks.
  • STPs and SEPs - our lawyers have offered advice to all three of the Success Regimes over the last few years. We provide support to many of the STP areas on governance, service change and other projects, such as new care models, they are seeking to collaborate on within their footprints.
  • Leases and licences - we spend significant time with our NHS clients to ensure they understand the lease and licence terms and that poor negotiations over those provisions could come back to haunt them.
  • Building contract advice and construction disputes - our team deliver a one stop service from advice on procurement through to the negotiation of disputes to avoid proceedings We also advise in relation to adjudication, arbitration or the court.
  • PFI/PPP and outsourcing - our team has been involved in the delivery of estate developments through PFI for twenty years. Whilst we have advised upon the initial construction period, the focus is now on delivering value and acceptable service standards through the operational period and in some instances even starting to think about the procedure towards handback.
  • Criminal, Regulatory and Compliance Team - we are instructed in a wide variety of regulatory matters from fatal accident investigations through to defending local authority or Environment Agency prosecutions, food safety and assisting organisations in respect of significant Police investigations.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Climate change – what’s next on the agenda?

Whilst Covid-19 has to date been a year-long phenomenon, the issue of climate change remains and the situation becomes more desperate every day.


Legal updates

‘For a Greener NHS’ – what does this mean for the role of HealthTech?

Despite the pressure and challenges facing the NHS and wider health and social care sector in tackling the Covid-19 second wave and winter pressures, the NHS remains committed to playing its part in tackling climate change.


Legal updates

CMA confirms its decreased role in reviewing mergers between NHS organisations

Today’s publication of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision on the proposed merger of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.


Legal updates

STPs - what are the plans for the estate?

Now that STPs have been released, various questions and thoughts may arise for NHS trusts (and other public bodies) involved in estates and facilities.


What the directories say...