Collaborative Behaviour – Learning from the Nightingale Hospitals

Constructing Excellence

Collaborative Working Mentors, September 2020 

On 25th September we held our Collaborative Working Mentors Q3 Meeting with overwhelming interest & participation from the group.  The group are passionate about changing the industry for the better through communication, cross-sector collaboration, data sharing and business support inside the construction ecosystem to produce the best outcome for the society today and future generations to come.  

The key points of the meeting were: 

  • Focus on outcomes rather than process  
  • Encourage people to make decisions at the right time 
  • Keep info flow simple for Non –Executives to make value-based decisions  
  • Use Military experience and expertise as an example of the integrated system to delegate responsibilities with clear decision-making mechanisms. 

The Meeting included 3 session with presentations, heated discussions and Q&A. 

Session 1:  

Mace Group presented on how collaboration had helped deliver the transformation in 9 days of Excel London Centre  into a 3800  ICU bed Nightingale Hospital.

Despite the developing Coronavirus pandemic and panic, when construction companies were asked to support the NHSthe whole industry acted as one well lubricated mechanism to support the country and people at the time of a national crisis. Design, Procurement, Delivery, Energy Suppliers, Military, Volunteers… there was not a single link in the chain of command and decision-making process, who would put their personal or business interests above people’s needs!  

These are the major points and great example of collaborative behaviour approach to succeed in everyday tasks and tackle industry perception, national housing crisis, climate change challenges and environmental protection for future generation: 

  • Supply chain must be represented by senior management for quick decision-making solutions 
  • Basic principal of the management – right people at the right places  
  • High structural flexibility 
  • High management and work force adaptability 
  • Quick development of standard contracts 
  • Trust between all the sides involved 

 As a result of this outstanding collaborative behaviour approach, the task was completed within 9 days only against 10 originally planned. That gave an enormous positive influence on national spirit and insured the public that CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CAN DELIVER on any task, no matter timing or circumstances, by working together in the interest of society. 


The NHS Nightingale Hospitals are seven critical care temporary hospitals established by NHS England as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in England.
The NHS Nightingale Hospital London opened first on 3 April 2020. As of 5 May 2020, six of the seven planned hospitals had opened, and by the following month all had been placed on standby.

Session 2: 

IPInitiatives presentation on Integrated Project Insurance and Digital Tools in collaborative behaviour analysis brought lots of parallels how to transfer extraordinary into ordinary everyday life tasks with outstanding results and social value benefits. 

 The main idea of IPI is to separate contracts and insurances which would result in: 

  • Shared ownership for problem & solutions, higher action responsibilities  
  • Development of learning culture, freedom to be ethical with impact of peer pressure 
  • Exposure to other ideas & opportunities 
  • Avoiding disputes, acceptance of failing in trustful, no blame environment 
  • Minimalizing need for protection 
  • Creating achievable targets and business satisfaction 

As part of the Government Construction Strategy, there are three methods of procurement that have been recommended to the industry; Two Stage Open Book, Integrated Project Insurance and Cost Led Procurement. All of these methods promote early contractor engagement and can deliver benefits; however the only one can give the opportunity to bring the much needed cultural change to the industry is Integrated Project Insurance (IPI).

The IPI model requires the creation of an alliance (a virtual company) and requires each selected practice to take a seat on the board of the alliance. The alliance develops potential solutions on an open book basis and alliance members are paid for what they actually do. Alliance members can agree their level of pain-share/gain-share, but the two figures must be equal for each party. This procurement method incentivises all team members to achieve the desired outcomes.

IPI isn’t for everyone, whilst the insurance provisions are unique, the IPI model is founded on the proven methods of key exemplar projects, and is only available to integrated teams which genuinely wish to work collaboratively. Though if you want to integrate this changes in to your business practices, you will have to look for like-minded people and businesses. And if you do, come and join us on Constructing Excellence movement for the more collaborative and trusted construction business environment with value outcomes for the society we all are a part of.

Session 3: Q&A 

Join us for Collaborative Working Mentors Q4 Meeting, 11 December 2020 for discussion on collaborative behaviour and the ways to change the attitude of parties involved as well as digital tools to enhance the influence.    

We hold these meetings Quarterly so register your interest for any upcoming events below and be involved in the process of shifting and shaping the industry to collaborative cross-sector approach. 

Collaborative Working Mentors Q1 Meeting, 19 March 2021 

Collaborative Working Mentors Q2 Meeting, 11 June 2021 

Collaborative Working Mentors Q3 Meeting, 24 September 2021 

These Meetings are open to national members of Constructing Excellence and invited guests. Contact for more details.