Client: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Contract duration: 25 years

Red Rose Corporate Services LLP (RRCS) was the first Strategic Estate Partnership (SEP) company established in the NHS in England. A joint venture between Ryhurst and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, RRCS was formed in October 2010 to support the Trust in delivering its clinical strategy through taking a smarter approach to asset management. With a significant pipeline of new developments, the partnership was originally designed to open up new ways of securing funding for the delivery of capital projects, but developed into a strong operational standalone company and has continued to redesign and reshape its role and purpose.

Building strong, collaborative and flexible relationships starts with strong leadership from the Board and senior management team of both partner organisations. The partnership is built around Ryhurst’s four key principles:

  • Mutual control
  • Trust
  • Flexibility
  • Transparency

The model is a true 50:50 partnership which has a single guiding objective; “to ensure the estate is managed as efficiently as possible whilst enabling the Trust to deliver its clinical and operational strategy.”

The Trust and Ryhurst contribute equally in terms of sharing risk and reward, ensuring the Trust’s interests are protected whilst at the same time enabling challenge. The role of Ryhurst as private sector partner is to provide that challenge, drive innovation and provide support to ensure optimum performance of the LCFT estate.

The partnership was structured on four aims:

  • To deliver high quality operational estates management services
  • To fund and develop new in-patient and community accommodation in a tax efficient manner
  • To reduce the number of sites the Trust operates from and improve the efficiency of the built estate
  • To seek new and innovative ways of driving out cost and increasing income from buildings to support service delivery

Ryhurst’s partnership model encourages the pooling of resources and expertise to achieve specific measureable goals set by the Trust.

The risks and rewards are shared, and as an LLP, RRCS can explore new and innovative ways of delivering projects and disposing of or developing surplus and vacant sites.

RRCS was responsible for the management of LCFT’s whole estate which covers more than 150 Trust owned and leased sites across the county between April 2014 and April 2018. In September 2015, LCFT’s estates and facilities staff transferred to RRCS in order to provide a seamless service encompassing all property related matters.

The strategic partnership approach captures the complex relationship between the efficient use of assets against the planning and delivery of clinical services. It unlocks and delivers value from a diverse and geographically spread estate with a footprint that exceeds 100,000m2.

A key role of the partnership was to ensure that infrastructure responded to the needs of the Trust. It is not just about building new facilities; it is about getting the most of existing facilities too.

RRCS focussed on operational estates, space and facilities management in order to realise returns from these infrastructure assets. Where investment in new facilities was required, health planners were engaged to ensure that space is planned and designed to be flexible and respond to the needs of multiple uses. This resulted in the partnership generating additional revenues, reducing costs and maximising use where appropriate.

RRCS traded as a profitable business delivering services to other NHS Trusts and public sector bodies, bringing additional income to the partnership. RRCS provided a range of services from fire safety risk assessments, audits and training, to strategic estates advice and from interim resource to a full outsourcing and transfer of estates management function. 

Since its formation in 2010, RRCS has delivered to the Trust:

  • £5m revenue savings on Hard and Soft FM and increased quality of the services provided through outsourcing
  • Meeting and exceeded the Trust’s estates related Cost Improvement Programme targets year on year
  • Up to 50% reduction in consultancy costs on capital projects
  • Saved over £20m capital costs by renegotiating the ProCure21+ project for The Harbour
  • Increased use of the Trust’s existing corporate and clinical facilities by 39%
  • Created a step change in the management of the estates and property function
  • Achieved ‘Admitted Body Status’ and carried out the successful transfer of LCFT estates staff into RRCS via TUPE, protecting NHS pensions
  • Delivered £40m+ of minor capital projects
  • Continually challenged the opportunities to create savings and improved facilities and maintenance savings year on year
  • £300k saving through Market Testing of the Trust PFI FM contract