Every year, the NHS faces the pressure of hitting a budget limit set by the Parliament and Treasury, called the capital departmental expenditure limit (CDEL). Departments and the NHS cannot spend above the limit but would at the same time do wisely to maximise value by not underspending. 

The Omicron Covid variant is just the latest source of pressure that has forced trusts to look at how they use their Estate whether it be by increasing critical care capacity, improving infrastructure, ensuring continuity for business as usual or managing the impact on their staff. 

Gleeds Director and Health Sector lead for South and London Joanne de la Porte spent ten years as Capital Programme Manager in a large Acute NHS Trust. In that time, she took onboard many lessons on how to meet the CDEL while getting the most benefits possible out of Capital projects and programmes. 

In her CDEL Management Check List, Joanne offers 12 tips on how to maximise spend and hold yourself accountable. Issues like governance, optimism bias, data, and resourcing are all addressed. Key to getting the balance right is asking:

  • What can be slowed down if you’re overspending? How does slowing one part of a project affect next year’s capital programme and pipeline plan?
  • What can be brought forward from the pipeline next year if you’re underspending? How will speeding things up affect the capital programme and pipeline next year?
  • What are the organisations wider objectives, such as Clinical, Estates, Digital or Sustainability strategies and what impact will a ‘Capital Programme change’ have on the success of implementing these? 

You can download the checklist right here. If you have further questions, please get in touch so we can help address where the risks and opportunities lie.

Speak to Joanne
Joanne de la Porte

Joanne de la Porte
Director, Health Sector lead for UK South and London