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Practical implementation

Disposing of land in a way that best ensures the creation of Homes for NHS Staff will require the creation of a skilled, multidisciplinary team of consultants and/or professional advisors. No matter the discipline, there are some key points to bear in mind when making appointments.

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Tips for appointing professional advisors

  • Look for a track record. Look for consultants who can demonstrate relevant experience in the type of project you are hoping to deliver. For example, consider whether consultants you have previously worked with on health projects also have enough experience of residential development to give you the right advice. Procure from established frameworks and ask for case studies, CVs and references. Ask consultants to set out their approach to your project and ask to meet the day to day contact before making an appointment.
  • Be clear about the brief. Share relevant supporting documents such as the Estates Strategy and your draft business case for context. State your objectives for the site including any demand assessment supporting the requirement for Homes for NHS Staff. Experienced professional advisors will be familiar with Estate Code and will understand the requirement to demonstrate best value in disposals but will also be able to advise on the best procurement and disposal routes to deliver on other stated objectives such as delivering Homes for NHS Staff.
  • Set out the project timetable. Include any external drivers and impediments such as funding targets, Board decisions, links to other projects such as requirements for cross subsidy so that these are fully understood at the outset. Good professional advisors understand that they are not operating in a vacuum. Timetable restrictions and deadlines for receipt of funds will impact which courses of action are available and they will shape recommendations accordingly.
  • Invite comments on the brief. Good consultants will provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances. They will also be honest at the outset if they believe that your expectations are unrealistic, undeliverable or if a better alternative exists to achieve your objectives. Look for evidence that the consultant has understood the brief, sought opportunities to clarify expectations and is offering a service tailored to their understanding of your needs. Provide the consultant with an opportunity to comment on your proposals as part of the tender process and take on board constructive feedback.