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Publication of the inaugural HEJ Survey findings

The inaugural Health Estate Journal Reader Survey will be launched at the Healthcare Estates Show. A collaboration between IHEEM and Wandsworth Healthcare the survey was undertaken in May and June this year.

Wandsworth’s National Framework manager, Stuart Guest, explains the rationale: “The survey– ran until the end of June, and was launched to try and identify, and subsequently share, some of the biggest concerns for healthcare estates, engineering and estates professionals, gaining their views on some of the challenges they face on a day to day basis.”

The company’s National Sales manager, Darren Beeson, adds: “With the healthcare sector’s constantly changing environment, and the pressures from both internal and external forces, the survey provided a strong opportunity for both Wandsworth Healthcare and IHEEM to gauge the problems, frustrations, and decision-making priorities, of healthcare estates staff within the NHS.

Understanding the market’s requirements

He continued: “Wandsworth is a leading innovator in nurse call systems, and is keen to understand the market’s requirements and solution development needs, to help ensure that we develop the appropriate solutions and services. We were delighted to be involved with this inaugural survey, as it afforded both an opportunity for IHEEM members to provide a snapshot of the industry, and for suppliers like ourselves to understand the importance of technology, and where we should be concentrating our development.”

Fourteen questions

In all 14 survey questions were developed jointly by the two organisations – focusing on topics ranging from which geographical areas globally respondents felt were delivering the best healthcare environment, to whether capital expense or running costs figured highest when considering investing in new equipment. Stuart Guest elaborated: “Respondents were asked about key engineering issues – for instance the optimal frequency for replacing core medical equipment, as well as for their views on the broader demographic and societal issues. Finally, they were asked to identify which IHEEM services they were already benefiting from most, and what other additional member products or services they felt could help them develop their careers and meet some of the wider challenges outlined. Launched in May’s HEJ with a ‘pull-out’ section in the magazine, and via an online portal, the survey generated an enthusiastic response, and provided interesting insight.”

Facilitating knowledge-sharing

IHEEM CEO, Julian Amey: said:As a professional Institute, one of IHEEM’s key roles is to inform its members, and to facilitate knowledge-sharing, discussion, and debate, on the key issues facing the sector.  However, to be able to provide the optimal ‘package’ of membership benefits, the Institute needs to be fully appraised of the issues that healthcare engineering and estates professionals feel matter to them most – whether it be difficulties in recruiting, budgetary constraints, backlog maintenance, insufficient recognition by Trust Boards of the importance of regular investment in buildings and plant, or where to source the most accurate, up-to-date information.

“Equally, to give members the best value, and attract new members, we need to know which membership benefits are most valued, and equally, where, by launching new ‘products’ or services, the Institute can enhance its offering and, in the process, expand its membership.

“Against this backdrop – in a first of its kind for the Institute – IHEEM joined forces in May with Wandsworth Healthcare (a Company Affiliate Member) to launch a reader survey – the results make up this fascinating report. Both organisations wanted to really get beneath the skin of this fast-changing sector to find out which issues matter most to HEJ’s readers and the wider healthcare estates community. The report gives a detailed breakdown of the responses, and outlines the key findings. The results make interesting reading, and should prove a useful tool for us at IHEEM in further developing and enhancing our range of member benefits, and indeed in our work to increase membership. We hope readers will find the results as interesting as we have.

Thanks for support

He continued: “IHEEM would like to thank Wandsworth Healthcare for its considerable support and input in analysing the results and producing the report. While the survey’s conclusions will undoubtedly help us at IHEEM identify some of the key areas for the Institute as a professional development organisation to focus on, we hope that, as a leading supplier, Wandsworth, and indeed other suppliers, will also benefit. Armed with greater insight, they should be in a better position to tailor their products and services to what the market, and indeed their customers, require.

“IHEEM was delighted to be involved, but we and Wandsworth feel the report is just the start of what should be a stimulating debate around the findings, both at this month’s Healthcare Estates event – and over coming months.”