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Student residences: Why one size no longer fits all

student residences demand changesClayre Massey, associate at Sheppard Robson, discusses why architects have a responsibility to create better student experiences and address issues of mental health.

Research highlights that around half of students going to university see themselves as customers. The “student-client” has arisen from the higher price of education, and led to a growing scrutiny of the quality of facilities on campuses. Universities have responded by increased investment in many aspects of campus life, with directors of estates using design to attract students in an increasingly international marketplace.

But have student residences kept pace with shifting expectations and requirements?

A typology that often conjures up images of tired halls of residences, student living is surely a fundamental way of boosting the student experience, shaping mental wellbeing and breaking down the perceived barriers of going to university. Where students live, in my view, holds the key to making the whole university experience more inclusive. Read more…..

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Academisation: The new Ofsted framework

The impact of academisation

When the topic of academies makes the news headlines it always seems to be for the wrong reason.

academisation - new ofsted framework

At the time of writing, education headlines have been dominated by controversies related to ‘related party’ transactions, terminated funding agreements and allegations of false claims for building and maintenance grants.

Perhaps more significant, has been the current BBC2 documentary series ‘School’, which follows the struggle of a small multi-academy trust in South Gloucestershire to keep its schools afloat in the face of decreasing budgets, falling rolls and challenging Ofsted inspections.

It’s a bleak watch at times, but the overwhelming picture is of a group of professionals operating from a strong moral purpose in the interests of young people and families against what at times seem to be insuperable odds. Read more…..

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An interview with Peter Smith on the future of NHS Procurement

peter smith and the future of nhs procurementFormer UK Health Minster, Dan Poulter, recently shocked the nation with evidence to suggest that the NHS is being “ripped off” by two billion pounds per year.

In a column in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “In short, our hospitals are getting ripped off left, right and centre. And with £18 in every £100 you pay in tax being spent on the NHS, that means you’re getting ripped off.”

Buying more diligently and implementing cost-saving practices is a must if our NHS is to survive a time of great uncertainty. With this in mind, the NHS also has approximately 1.5 million employees that need to be informed and inspired ready to implement the next innovations that will change NHS procurement forever. Read more…..

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Facilities management professionals: Designing a better future with Perry Timms

facilities management professionals skills 2I have the pleasure of coming to Salford in December to speak to FM professionals about “The skills shortage and shifting workforce demographics”

My brief is this:

  • Attracting a diverse range of new talent
  • Developing professional career pathways for the FM workforce
  • How to measure performance in a meaningful way
  • The transition from traditional hard FM models into customer-focused workplace solutions Read more…..
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Defining Facilities Management for the 21st Century

facilities management futureThe World of Facilities Management

The world of facilities management is dynamic and evolving. We are seeing rapid progress in technology, social aspirations, and our work environments.

The need for FM professionals to innovate, adapt and deliver value has never been greater, as more and more organisations are recognising the importance of the built environment to their core business. Read more…..

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Isle of Man directors financial responsibilities and liabilities

isle of man directors financial responsibilitiesAs an organisational Director, Isle of Man law dictates that you must be able to exercise a certain standard of care in financial matters – regardless of whether you are holding a finance-specific role within the company or not.

The risk of personal liability

As seen recently with the Patisserie Valerie fraud case, the group’s multi-millionaire chairman, Luke Johnson, was forced to use £20m of his own money to keep Patisserie Holdings in business, after finding that it was nearly £10m in debt instead of having £28m in the bank, as it had last reported.

The Directors have said they were unaware until 10 October that Patisserie Holdings’ main trading subsidiary, Stonebeach, faced a winding-up petition from HMRC over a £1m unpaid tax bill. Read more…..

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NHS Procurement Conference Presentation Dos and Don’ts

Peter Smith is the expert in procurement who will be chairing our NHS Procurement conference in December. The objective of this conference is to help solidify NHS procurement processes, understand the Future Operating Model (FOM), harness NHS buying power more effectively and create savings for our health service.

Ahead of our conference, he has put together this handy guide as to what makes a presentation to a procurement audience valuable, insightful and, above all, useful.

You can find his full list of presentation “Dos and Don’ts” below!


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Thriving at work review: Next steps for leading employers

thriving at workLast year the Prime Minister commissioned an independent review into mental health and employment led by Dennis Stevenson and Mind CEO Paul Farmer, as part of a range of measures aimed at transforming mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities.

The review revealed 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem fall out of work every year, a cost of up £99 billion to the UK economy. In addition, the human cost of failing to address mental health in the workplace is clear.

Every employer has a responsibility to support employees with mental health problems and promote the mental wellbeing of their entire workforce. Read more…..

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Introducing Health and Wellbeing Expert, Dr Steven Boorman CBE

health and wellbeing with dr steven boorman“I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Health and Wellbeing conference, hosted in Salford University on the 4th December! There are some excellent, experienced speakers, with a wealth of knowledge on workplace health.

It’s an exciting time to be working in the field- as I enter my 31st year in occupational health I am struck by the fact that we do seem to have more awareness and impetus behind the work and health agenda than at any other time in my career. Dame Gina Radford – the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and DWP’s Chief Medical Officer articulated this by saying ““we have an unprecedented opportunity and the pace of change and willingness to make change is like nothing I have experienced before” and it is good to see the multiple programmes that the “Improving Lives” Command paper strategy has generated taking shape. As Chair of the Council for Work and Health, I see our multidisciplinary membership actively contributing and supporting the work. Read more…..

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NHS Procurement: Heart of the Hospital

nhs procurement heart of the hospital“I can’t recall a time when there has been as much focus on “procurement” as right now, be it the introduction of the Future Operating Model re-shaping NHS Supply Chain, the performance reporting and benchmarking regime under NHS Improvement’s Model Hospital, to the drive for STP wide service consolidation.  In this context where does “procurement” at a local level fit, what is the role of procurement at a Trust/STP level?

To answer this question, we first need to understand the full scope of the procurement function.  It’s not simply about negotiating lower prices.  That in many ways is the easy part.  It’s also about contract management, building partnerships with industry, and crucially managing the supply chain.  The scale/ complexity/ operational dependency of a Trust supply chain is arguably procurement’s greatest secret and greatest opportunity.  In other sectors the supply chain function is recognised as fundamental to the operational performance of the organisation, the dependencies in a Trust are no different and arguably given the performance weakness of the inbound supply chain, more critical. It is worth noting that the typical performance level of both pharma and clinical supplies wholesalers is less than 90% so 1 in 10 of items Trusts order do not arrive first time. Read more…..

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