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Facilities and estates team

Our facilities and estates team work with data and information about the physical NHS estate – its land, buildings and their running costs. Facilities and estates is the third largest cost for the NHS, after staff and medicines. In 2016/17, NHS organisations reported this cost as £8.6 billion.

We collect and analyse information on surplus land – land that is owned by the NHS but not needed to provide services. Information on facilities and estates is used for local investment planning, contract negotiation and service management, which improves the efficiency of the NHS.

In addition, we manage the collection of data on the Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment programme (PLACE). This looks at how well care environments, for example hospital wards, meet their patients’ needs. PLACE provides a way for patients to share their views on the sites where they receive care, so that the information can be used to improve patient experience.

We also manage the Defects and Failures reporting system. This enables NHS Improvement to monitor how well non-medical equipment is working across the NHS.

Estates Related Information Collection (ERIC)


The Estates Related Information Collection (ERIC) includes information on:

  • the number of sites each trust has, and what they are used for – for example acute hospitals or mental health facilities
  • gross floor area and occupied floor area
  • running costs – such as cost of food, laundry, portering, cleaning and energy costs
  • works backlog and investment required to remediate – looking at the money needed where work is required to bring facilities up to standard
  • car parking charges
  • surplus land – land owned by the NHS but not required to deliver services

Some data is collected at site level and some at organisation level.


NHS trust staff use the Estates and Facilities Management Information System (EFM) to submit data to us.

Analyse and interpret

We analyse data to look at the total cost of running and maintaining NHS sites, and separate this data into suitable metrics, for example the cost of electricity or cleaning. Surplus land sites are analysed for potential housing capacity.


Registered users of the EFM system can use it to see real time data, benchmark their own sites and run data reports.

We publish the annual Estates Return Information Collection report and the NHS Surplus Land report.

We also produce answers to parliamentary questions, freedom of information requests and other ad hoc data requirements.


Local users can use data to see how they are doing in comparison to other sites and to their own targets, to improve their efficiency, safety and quality. Data is used for:

  • local investment planning
  • negotiation of contracts
  • managing services

Nationally, the collection provides essential information on NHS estates, including:

  • safety
  • quality
  • running costs

This is used by the government and other organisations involved with health and care for a range of purposes, including policy decisions on investment planning and income generation.

ERIC data was used in the Carter review of productivity in NHS hospitals, and now monitors progress against targets set for each provider.

Estates and facilities data is being linked with activity data such as Hospital Episode Statistics, to generate new insights into use of the NHS buildings.

Surplus land data provides information to the Department of Health, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Government Property Unit on sites that can be sold, contributing to the Government Public Sector Land Disposal Programme.

Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE)


Patient-led inspection teams visit the places where patients receive care, and fill in forms based on their assessments of criteria including:

  • privacy and dignity
  • maintenance
  • food
  • cleanliness
  • accessibility
  • suitability for patients with dementia

Hospitals and hospices providing NHS funded care in the NHS and private sector are assessed.


NHS trust staff use the Estates and Facilities Management Information System (EFM) to submit data from the assessments to us.

Analyse and interpret

We compare the average score of each area tested to previous years’ scores. We also compare the number of assessments in each annual report.


We publish the annual Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) report.

PLACE data is shared with care providers and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).


The NHS Constitution now includes the right to be cared for in a clean, safe, secure and suitable environment. PLACE data tells providers how they are doing, and helps them to improve through action planning. 

PLACE data feeds into the CQC risk model, which it uses to make sure services meet quality and safety standards. The CQC also uses the data to help decide which sites it should inspect.

Defects and Failures reporting system


All faulty non-medical equipment is reported by NHS staff across England.


Staff use the Estates and Facilities Management Information System to submit details of faults to us.

Analyse and interpret

We analyse the data for identifying trends, for example: faults occurring in pieces of equipment.


We share this data with NHS Improvement.


NHS Improvement use this data as an equipment surveillance system, to monitor safety.

Last edited: 20 February 2020 11:36 am