Optimising The Use of Healthcare Estate

How Occupancy Sensors Can Provide Actionable Insights

Jim BrooksFrom our Estates team led by Director Jim Brooks

In a world where finances feel tighter than ever, efficient and effective utilisation of existing healthcare estate is not just a priority – it’s a necessity.  However, often the issue isn’t lack of space but rather, the way that space is being used. Working every square metre of clinical and office space to its fullest potential can make a significant difference in cost management, clinical capacity and productivity as well as staff wellbeing. But often organisations lack the information to be able to make meaningful change.

At Baxendale, we like to blend our estate expertise with cutting-edge sensor technology to provide actionable insights for our clients that help them transform NHS estate management. Too often there is an information gap and disconnect in perspectives when it comes to spatial capacity and capability. What sensor tech can do is tell us “actually, there’s some, often a lot, of room to play with here”.

Typically, the way sensors find this information out is from being placed under desks, on walls and at doorways. Here, they will monitor movement, and through data visualisation, show us what happens at particular times, in particular places, to better understand peaks and troughs. Sensors are confidential and do not act as CCTV, but rather, record usage patterns to gain more accurate insight into how people interact with spaces.

The Benefits of Space Utilisation Metrics in the NHS

Effective space utilisation is essential for adapting NHS facilities to meet future demands. Whether adjusting to new hybrid working models, accommodating growth, maximising productivity, or improving staff satisfaction, it all starts with a clear understanding of how space is used. Let’s take a look at some key benefits provided by workspace utilisation analytics:

  1. Optimising space efficiency
    Space utilisation metrics help to identify underutilised or overutilised areas within NHS facilities, allowing for better allocation of space and optimised layouts that ensure clinical and office space areas are used effectively.
  2. Cost savings and resource maximisation
    Understanding how spaces are utilised can uncover opportunities to reduce costs associated with unused or underused areas. This might include downsizing the estate footprint, reconfiguring layouts, or repurposing certain spaces to match actual demand.
  3. Enhanced employee wellbeing and productivity
    Designing spaces that enhance focus, facilitate different ways of working, and provide comfortable break areas, can greatly improve the working conditions and job satisfaction of NHS staff, ultimately improving retention and performance.
  4. Informed workplace design and planning
    By adapting layouts based on data-driven insights, environments can be created to support collaboration, flexibility, and the evolving needs of healthcare professionals, enhancing their ability to work in an agile way and provide quality patient care.
  5. Strategic decision-making
    The agility that sensor tech provides through real-time data allows for effective and immediate decision-making, proving particularly valuable in fast-paced NHS environments. However, it can also help to inform more long-term strategic thinking: expansions and contractions of space, investments in workplace technology and future leasing agreements.
  6. Improved facilities management
    Facilities managers can use space utilisation data to optimise maintenance schedules, cleaning routines, and security protocols based on actual usage patterns.

Get in touch with us today

At Baxendale, we are committed to providing the NHS with the tools and insights needed to make the most of their existing spaces. Through our unique blend of NHS estate expertise and innovative use of occupancy sensors, we can help you to unlock the full potential of your buildings, and more importantly, the people within them.

For more information on how our solutions can benefit your organisation, contact us using the form below.


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