Simon Kydd: New Developments Need to Deliver More for Less – Sweating Assets Is Key
Head of Healthcare, WSP in the UK
What are the main trends currently challenging healthcare in the UK?
As public health budgets are squeezed, funds that would have been used within capital expenditure are being diverted to patient care. Building services are key to meeting the challenge of creating energy efficient, high performance healthcare units that have lower running costs. In short, new developments need to deliver more for less.
Rationalisation or ‘sweating’ assets is key. NHS Trusts are looking to centralize certain services. For example, rather than three A&E departments spread across town, NHS trusts are looking to create one A&E service and avoid duplicated costs.
Another trend is the growth within the private healthcare sector in the UK. It is growing because healthcare demand is growing, while NHS budgets are tightening. The private sector is plugging the gap. At the moment, the private sector makes up around 5% of the market, while the NHS is around 95% – but this is set to change with private sector growth.
What is the next big thing in healthcare, and is WSP facilitating this?
Wearable technology will play an increasingly important role in diagnostics and healthcare more generally. Wearables will free up patients from the need to stay in one place. We can provide the hardware, and, importantly, design the software to enable this sophisticated exchange of data. Healthcare providers are exploring the opportunities that this kind of technology presents and we want to be ahead of the curve in supplying the infrastructure that will help make wearables a standard part of diagnostic kit.
Another definite trend is the growth of London as a hot spot for health tourism. We are increasingly tendering for private sector work, and are currently delivering a 100-bed hospital unit, as developers respond to demand for private, specialist healthcare facilities in the capital.
What do you see as your key role at WSP?
My role is to identify the project, secure it and then assemble the right team for the job’s delivery. Skills and talents are not restricted by geography. I look at the health team beyond the UK and across the whole of the group to make sure that the people most suited to a particular project can bring their talents to the table and ensure the best possible outcome for the client.
Which aspects of working within the healthcare sector do you enjoy most?
Each hospital project is a unique and challenging experience. Hospitals are second only to power stations in the complexity of their design. Within a single healthcare complex you might have a cancer care area, a children’s hospital, maternity services, neuro surgery – the list could go on. And each of these areas is highly specialist so there is always a great deal of variety within a project.
Making something positive happen. Unlocking solutions to problems that might otherwise have hindered a scheme. These are the things that really drive me on and give me a lot of satisfaction in my work.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I’m a huge F1 fan. Love watching the sport and collecting F1 memorabilia.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I’d be invisible. I’d like to go to a hospital and observe how it all works without interrupting the flow of the place and people.
If you could be a piece of hospital equipment, what would you be?
A scalpel! It’s a simple bit of kit that is perfectly designed for its job.
If you worked in a hospital, what role would best suit you?
Offering expert insight into Britain’s health market and 20 years’ experience of delivering large scale schemes for the public/private sector, Simon heads up WSP’s UK based health projects. Simon has a keen eye for new opportunities and selecting teams that make the best use of his colleagues’ talents and experience.
With a background in contracting, Simon led a number of high profile PFI projects before specialising in health in 2010. It is the sheer complexity and variety within healthcare development that excites him about the sector along with the chance to deliver schemes that add real value to healthcare services.
Simon’s goal is to continue growing the group’s healthcare team with a focus on large projects that fully exploit the group’s creative approach to problem solving. With an exceptional 80% project win-rate, the team’s recent completions include Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool and the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow.
In recognition of his senior leadership role within the industry, Simon was appointed a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in 2014.