NHS Premises Assurance Model

The NHS Premises Assurance Model (PAM) for Acute Services has been released to support the NHS in improving the quality and safety of NHS premises while improving efficiency and effectiveness.

According to the Department of Health, “For Trust Boards, there is now a clear need to focus on ways to deliver improved care quality, from built environments which are not only highly effective, but significantly more financially efficient.”

Thus the Department has worked with the NHS to come up with NHS PAM, which is reminiscent of the Department’s ex-NHS Controls Assurance project, but is considerably less comprehensive and rigorous in application.

The NHS PAM is a management tool, designed to provide a nationally consistent approach to evaluating NHS premises, and to provide assurance and performance against a set of national indicators. It delivers a basis for:

  • assurance on the premises in which NHS healthcare is delivered;
  • driving premises-related performance improvements throughout the system;
  • providing a greater understanding of the vital role that NHS premises play in the delivery of improved clinical outcomes.

The NHS PAM seeks to align local provider local needs and priorities with government legislation and statute to support delivery on:

  • High Quality Care for All, published in June 2008, setting out the vision for putting quality at the heart of everything the NHS does;
  • The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) challenge;
  • The NHS Constitution;
  • The NHS Operating Framework 2010/11;
  • Quality Accounts.

According to the Department of Health, the NHS PAM gives NHS healthcare providers the opportunity:

  • to undertake a process of evidence backed self-assessment for use by provider trust boards as strategic management information; the model is pre-populated with existing nationally reported information provided by the NHS acute sector
  • for a single point methodology for NHS acute providers to locate premises performance and management information
  • to access information that they can use to improve efficiency and quality of their premises
  • to have dialogue with commissioners of service to demonstrate assurance of essential statutory undertakings and quality
  • to agree local needs and priorities for improving premises infrastructure, efficiency and quality
  • to demonstrate regard for the NHS Constitution in the delivery of safe and effective environments that are utilised to deliver high quality healthcare services
  • to derive a quality statement for the healthcare environment which can be utilised in a provider’s wider quality account should they so wish.

The focus of the model is on five key domains;

  • finance/ value for money;
  • safety;
  • effectiveness;
  • patient experience; and
  • board governance.

The NHS PAM is not mandatory. However, it is referenced in the NHS Operating Framework 2010/11, the Budget Statement 2009, the HM Treasury Operational Efficiency Programme Property Review, the Quality Accounts guidance and the Quality and Productivity Challenge (QIPP). In addition, it is also referenced in the NHS Standard Contract for Acute Services.

The Department of Health says that the release of the NHS PAM will be followed by development throughout 2010/11 for the acute sector. Additional models are planned for the mental health, primary care and private sectors during 2010/11, followed by similar development years.

To access the NHS PAM for Acute Services, or to find out more about NHS Pam, click here.

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