Seven tips for working with ProCure23 framework

What can construction professionals expect from the new fourth generation of the ProCure framework for the design and construction of NHS capital projects – P23? Bertie Green from IHP explains.

The ProCure22 framework (P22) is soon to be superseded by the fourth generation of the NEC target cost health sector procurement route, ProCure23 (P23). It will have an expected cumulative spend of £9bn during its lifespan.

The NHS says P23 will better reflect the changing needs of the service while providing more flexibility for contractors and bring the latest best practice in modern methods of construction and digital infrastructure. It also aims to deliver greener facilities, reducing carbon emissions throughout the process and promoting social value.

In the meantime, the P22 framework has been extended until 30 June 2022 to enable continuity of design and construction services for the NHS until P23 becomes available for use by NHS clients.

BAM, Galliford Try, Graham, Kier, Tilbury Douglas and Integrated Health Projects (IHP) – a joint venture between Vinci Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine – are the present P22 Principal Supply Chain Partners (PSCPs).

St Anne’s Hospital, Poole, was refurbished by IHP (Image: http://www.ihprojects.co.uk)

While contract values range from below £1m to in excess of £100m for Multiple Major Capital developments, the majority fall within the £10m to £50m bracket. The largest single project to date with agreed guaranteed maximum price is the Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals reconfiguration, an IHP scheme which represents a huge investment in healthcare provision in the Dorset/west Hampshire area.

Many construction professionals have worked on NEC forms of contract, but P22 does have its nuances and understandably clients using this procurement route have complex processes of financial, regulatory and clinical commissioning to undertake before and after the appointment of the PSCP. These will also apply to P23.

The following are some dos and don’ts for the less well acquainted:

  • Do communicate. Remember that effective communication requires receiving as well as transmitting. Recent technological advances mean that this can take place from your own ‘office’, be that home or site.
  • Don’t dither. The NEC contains time bar mechanisms intended to act as an incentive to raise potential problems early to allow mitigation to take place. Contract management software is available to support this but is by no means a panacea.
  • Do record. The well-worn QS adage of ‘records, records and more records’ is particularly apt on P22 but don’t be afraid to share recorded information and data within the project team so that actions can be influenced.
  • Don’t forget who you’re working for. Most P22 projects involve working within or immediately adjacent to live hospital sites and inevitably there will be requests to stop noisy or high vibration activities. Take these in your stride and perhaps consider whether you’d want a loved one to undergo complex surgery whilst diamond drilling is happening on an adjacent floor?
  • Do be patient. Many of us in construction become frustrated when faced with what we perceive as slow decision making or unnecessary change. Where the NHS is funded by public money and has multiple stakeholders at all levels, due process does have to be followed, so plan ahead when key dates must be met.
  • Don’t point the finger of blame. This can alienate individual team members, leading to sub-optimal engagement and performance levels. Of course, the overarching principles of working collaboratively and mutual benefit pay off when gain share is achieved.
  • Do expect professional pride. You will be able to walk away from a finished P22 scheme with a sense of pride and personal satisfaction.

Bertie Green FCIOB is a commercial manager with Integrated Health Projects, a joint venture between Sir Robert McAlpine and Vinci

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in Opinion