The Francis Report and the transformative work being spearheaded by Sir Bruce Keogh have recently highlighted the important part that adequate staffing plays in providing a safe and effective therapeutic healthcare environment. Privacy and dignity; views, nature and outdoors; legibility of place; comfort and control of the environment; appearance; facilities; and staff all contribute to patient’s experience.
A CABE survey reported that, when asked to comment about hospital design, the public prioritise as follows:
Of course, staff also benefit equally from enhancements to the patient experience. Hospital design embracing healthcare data, research and learning from leading healthcare employers such as Barchester Health can bring together good spatial use, technology, innovative interiors, and deliver operational benefits. With regards to the role of hospital design in the recruitment, retention and performance of NHS nurses in England, CABE surveyed 500 nurses throughout English hospitals to determine nurses’ attitudes towards hospital design. You might not be surprised to hear that:
It is also important to factor into NHS transformation and improvement that the quality of highly specialist care in the acute setting can be very sensitive to the environment in which the clinical teams deliver. Some teams and their patient groups can experience high levels of stress which can be positively or adversely amplified by the environment too.
So if you agree that the quality of the patient environment and healthcare staff morale, recruitment and retention rates matter, it follows that healthcare estate design matters. A lot. The quality of the built environment experience matters. In my next blog, I will write about specific elements of healthcare facilities that can make all the difference...
David Lawrence is Head of Capita’s Health Property team
Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure work with public and private sector organisations to design, build and optimise their real estate and infrastructure assets. From thought to finish, we apply our combined expertise to achieve more from the entire built environment.
We build competitive advantage through intelligently applied real estate and infrastructure solutions and enhance our clients’ standing in a forever-changing world.