Empty space is costing a Leeds-based mental health trust nearly £400,000, the YEP can reveal.
Bosses have come up with a plan to streamline their estate, which includes underused buildings, and save £1.5m by 2016.
That includes making better use of the most expensive facilities built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
John Walker, head of facilities at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), said in a report: “The estate is the second largest asset to the organisation after workforce consuming resources of approximately £18.3m per annum. A significant proportion of that cost is fixed charges under the PFI arrangements.”
The report adds that the PFI buildings in Leeds are “underutilised”.
The organisation, which runs mental health and learning disability services in Leeds, York and parts of North Yorkshire, operates at 155 sites and 177 buildings.
In Leeds it has nine PFI buildings, 40 per cent of its space, which cost £382 per m sq.
But the buildings owned by the trust only cost the organisation £93 per m sq, though this takes into account income from renting space to other health bodies.
The report shows that empty space costs LYPFT £374,000 – 2 per cent of the trust’s estate is unutilised.
Aims include to improve the use of buildings and cut costs, through changes such as moving out of Millside in Meanwood and Towngate in Guiseley and consolidating rehabilitation and recovery services at Asket Croft in Seacroft.
They are also planning to break the lease at the organisation’s headquarters at Thorpe Park, Colton, next year and look at options for St Mary’s Hospital in Armley.
A spokesman for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “The figure of £347,000 was reached during the review of our estates which took place earlier this year and includes the cost of the rent plus the operational costs, which include security, utilities rates, staffing and maintenance proportionate to the space.
“This figure is a snapshot of how our estates were being used at that time of the review and we are working to reduce the amount of empty space and are planning to reduce this to a minimum in the coming months.”