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Social sustainability in Public–Private Partnership projects: case study of the Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney

Kun Wang (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China) (School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Yongjian Ke (School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Tingting Liu (School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Shankar Sankaran (School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 11 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present evidence to the heated debate “whether Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model should be introduced into the hospitals” and, if so, how to promote the social sustainability of such PPP projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has established an analytical framework to analyse the social sustainability of PPP projects. Using content analysis method, a single case study was carried out on the Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

Findings

The results show that there are many problems related to social sustainability in the project, due to which employees and patients were exposed to most of them. Some recommendations are provided, including to strengthen the supervision of the project, provide sufficient information, establish communication channels and stakeholder participation, improve hospital policies and procedures, and strengthen government support.

Practical implications

This paper can provide guidance for the stakeholders in a partnership, including the public and private sectors, to analyse the social sustainability implications, and then plan and implement hospital PPP projects to achieve social sustainability goals. Meanwhile, it can also provide important reference for the employees, patients, local community and society to assess social sustainability issues, and provide relevant inputs to inform decision-makers in the development, delivery and management of hospital projects.

Originality/value

The research will contribute to knowledge of social sustainability of hospital PPP projects. The proposed analytical framework can be used to analyse and assess the social sustainability of such projects from the perspective of stakeholders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for support from Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. This study is also sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education Youth Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (“The Correlation Mechanism between Relationship Management and Project Performance in Infrastructure PPP Project”, grant No. 16YJCZH096) and an Annual Project of the Academy of Longyuan Construction Financial Research of Ningbo University.

Citation

Wang, K., Ke, Y., Liu, T. and Sankaran, S. (2021), "Social sustainability in Public–Private Partnership projects: case study of the Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-10-2020-0835

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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