The business case development process in the delivery of NHS infrastructure
Arkani, S. (2008) The business case development process in the delivery of NHS infrastructure. In: Building abroad, procurement of construction and reconstruction projects in the international context i-Rec, CIB W92, CIB TG63 and CIB W107, University of Montreal, Canada, p. 14.
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There is a lack of knowledge base in relation to experiences gained and lessons learnt from previously executed National Health Service (NHS) infrastructure projects in the UK. This is in part a feature of one-off construction projects, which typify healthcare infrastructure, and in part due to the absence of a suitable method for conveying such information. The complexity of infrastructure delivery process in the NHS makes the construction of healthcare buildings a formidable task. This is particularly the case for the NHS trusts who have little or no experience of construction projects. To facilitate understanding a most important aspect of the delivery process, which is the preparation of a capital investment proposal; steps taken in developing the business case for an NHS healthcare facility are examined. The context for such examination is provided by the planning process of a healthcare project, studied retrospectively. The process is analysed using a social science based method called ‘building stories’, developed at the University of California-Berkeley. By applying this method, stories or narratives are constructed around the data captured on the case study. The findings indicate that the business case process may be used to justify, rather than identify, trusts’ requirements. The study is useful for UK public sector clients as well as consultants and professionals who aim to participate in the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects in the UK.