Healthcare Planner

The Healthcare Planner role on Frameworks Scotland 3 is wide ranging, supported by two separate Lots. This enables a focused approach to planning within a healthcare environment which seeks to alleviate problems which occur when preparatory work is not done robustly – potentially leading to abortive work and increased capital and revenue costs.

The role of the Healthcare Planner is to provide support to clients by ensuring that at all times there is a focus on optimising opportunities to improve the patient experience throughout the process from the earliest stages through to project commissioning and operation. A whole system perspective and an understanding of relevant national strategic issues relative to service delivery locally is required together with the ability to translate this into service and organisational re-design and development with the ability to undertake activity and capacity analysis in conjunction with functionality appraisals is required to support estate wide strategic level option reviews and decision making.

The most influential healthcare planning can be done before any facility is conceived or at the very least planned. Redesign of patient flows and pathways are a key component of system redesign. Investment in facilities must facilitate real service improvement and improve efficiency / effectiveness with planning for future services enabling flexible service and facility design.

The Healthcare Planner is split into two Lots:

Lot One

The primary focus of Healthcare Planner Framework Lot One is to provide services across:-

–    Estate Wide;

–    Territorial Board Wide;

–    Regional and National basis.

A proportion of work to support NHS Scotland will be strategic and whole system focused, often prior to the development or commencement of individual projects. It is anticipated that call off will be at a National, Regional or Territorial Level: where there are client bodies working together for strategic purposes one NHSScotland Organisation will act as the lead client body in contract with the appointed Strategic / Whole System Healthcare Planning consultancy.

Lot Two

The primary focus of Healthcare Planner Framework Lot Two is to provide services which: –

– Support the initiation of individual projects and programmes at strategic assessment and early project initiation stages onwards;

–  Often there may be requirements for healthcare planning prior to specific projects being initiated

Initial call off is not therefore necessarily linked to the appointment of other parties. As a project progresses and as the project team widens, the appointed consultant healthcare planner can play an integral role in the expanding project team.


Early engagement of a Healthcare Planner ensures early and ongoing interfaces in the planning process and ensures investment optimises improvement and realises agreed business case benefits.

The Healthcare Planner can facilitate translation of brief to functional relationships and conceptual approaches and helps to understand clinical priorities which are estate wide and patient centred, offering a strategic overview which demonstrates the shifting balance of care, masterplanning and Estates Strategies. As the project progresses Healthcare Planners and Architects are able to work together providing an interface between robust service and facility planning.

A healthcare planner’s direct engagement with the client’s staff is essential to understanding requirements and ensuring buy-in and ownership of the project objectives. Critical to the success of the brief development will be to focus on the “patient journey” and ensuring that all components of the clinical brief are joined up to facilitate a congruent whole hospital / system approach. 

Working with stakeholders and the client project team, the Healthcare Planners can input into and assist in the preparation and support the approval of the business case stages: Initial Agreement (IA), Outline Business Case (OBC), Full Business Case (FBC) and participate in the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Gateway key stage review process where relevant.

Working with the client project team user groups, the design team (if appointed separately) and Principal Supply Chain Partner (PSCP), the Healthcare Planner will support service redesign and clinical planning through user group facilitation and ensure that the design development process reflects best practice and national, regional and local strategic imperatives.  As well as technical skills, Healthcare Planners will use the principles of organisational development and change management to encourage innovation and creativity.

Key areas of input from the Healthcare Planner are:      

  • Understanding delivery of key service objectives linked to health improvement as well as treatment.
  • Leading on matters relative to service delivery, clinical strategy and design, operational policies and functional content within the client project team.
  • Support the development of briefing information (including room data sheets where required) for Works Information documentation.
  • Actively participate in the design development process between user groups and PSCP (when appointed) through all design and briefing stage sign-offs.
  • Participate in clinical and healthcare planning design reviews and evaluation meetings at each stage of the process as required.
  • Review PSCP proposals at all stages; participate in the production of reports at the end of each stage, to include aspects on healthcare planning and design, good practice and compliance with national healthcare standards.
  • Participate in the review and evaluation of PSCP design proposals; provide clarification as required on all relevant healthcare planning matters.
  • Develop the briefing documentation and associated information including design, room data sheets, clinical requirements, adjacency matrix and operational policies, and risk information as required.
  • Assist with the preparation of Activity Data Base (ADB), or equivalent, room data information including preliminary equipment lists in conjunction with the client’s project team and user groups as required
  • Ensure that the clinical brief reflects national, regional and local healthcare strategy;
  • Work with user groups to redefine / revise the model of care and in so doing reviewing future working practices.
  • Input to the development of the appraisal brief giving specific advice as to the options available and assist in the formation of views as to the options to investigate.
  • Contribute to written reports including estimates of costs with conclusions and recommendations.
  • Input to the development of the design including advice on 1:50 room layouts and associated room data sheets and contribute to the preparation of a detailed report describing the design proposals. Participate in cost checks as necessary.
  • Support the client in the ‘user’ evaluation of the design proposals by developing approaches to enable users to fully understand the design, technical and clinical operational issues implicit in the PSCP design proposals.
  • Contribute to and comply with Health & Safety Plan and Health & Safety File with particular reference to Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI).
  • Assist the commissioning team to enable migration of staff from old to new facilities. This will involve equipment and logistics, migration plan, orientation of staff to new facilities and keeping staff up to date on progress on a regular basis.
  • Healthcare Planners can make a significant contribution to Service Strategy, Asset Management and Business Case Development/Assessment

 Healthcare Planners can optimise Client capital by:

  • seeking dual / multiple functionality and future flexibility
  • optimising existing facility utilisation
  • seeking operational solutions
  • establishing an agreed baseline of current requirements
  • agreeing & documenting future planning assumptions
  • introducing new techniques / process improvements
  • developing “clinical investment contracts”
  • through constructive clinical challenge at every stage
  • reducing/eliminating the “revenue cost of capital”
  • planning for process / pathway improvements
  • evaluating investment in technology
  • acting as a conduit between estate and clinical staff
  • collective planning for space and revenue sharing
  • effective management and reduced project timescales
  • through sharing accumulated learning

Engagement of a Healthcare Planner ensures NHSScotland Quality Ambitions are effective (-Patient Centred; Partnerships between Patients, Families & Staff; Privacy & Dignity; Efficient Patient Flows & Pathways; Safety; Prevention of Harm; Clean Safe Environment).

This enables Best Practice, eliminating variance, and ensuring that the delivery of benefits are met.

LOT ONE Consultant Healthcare Planners



Buchan + Associates

Carnall FarrarCarnall Farrar

LOT TWO Consultant Healthcare Planners


Buchan + Associates

Currie & Brown
KD Health

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