The numbers game: maximising your ERIC data


Do you have so much data that you don’t know what to do with it? It sits, gathering dust, because you don’t know where to start, or your team doesn’t have the knowledge or time to deal with it.

This was the issue that faced Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s facilities management team. They would collect the annual Estates Returns Information Collection (ERIC) data, and knew there were valuable insights contained within it, but they didn’t have the resource or capacity to analyse what it could tell them. They came to Community Ventures for help.

The Solution

Community Ventures took a deep dive into the ERIC data that the Trust was able to provide them, concentrating on where they thought they could obtain the most insight. Focusing on the so-called ‘Carter metrics’, from Lord Carter’s review into operational productivity and performance in the NHS, we were able to find some key statistics into how efficiently and effectively the Trust was using space, and what proportion of estates spend was allocated to individual items. Community Ventures provided a report looking back over the last five years, and to give useful context, benchmarked the Trust’s results against other, similarly sized Trusts.

The Result

The Trust were impressed by how far we had drilled down into their data, and the detailed results the report produced, which gave insights into specific areas and trends they could focus on. Some things were easy fixes – for example, the way the Trust was classifying some buildings was distorting the data, so a simple review showed that their estates space was actually configured more effectively to deliver clinical services than initially thought. Other elements of the report allowed the Trust to identify specific areas where they could make efficiencies, reducing their overall estates spend. By taking this data-driven, attention-to-detail approach, the Trust can utilise their existing estate better, make efficiencies, spend less, and therefore redirect this funding into providing better services to their patients.