As the Government embarks upon its £2.7 billion Health Infrastructure Plan the mistakes made in previous hospital construction mustn’t be repeated.
In the absence of any formal research or evaluation of the success of previous hospital projects, a discussion paper published last week by the Nuffield Trust provides an interesting assessment of some of the lessons learned that should inform the next 5 years of development.
It identifies 3 key lessons, among many recommendations, from past projects:
- NHS planning leaders should avoid making over-optimistic assumptions about future demand and system performance as predecessors failed to consider the emergence of new diseases and changes in treatment, technology and skills.
- Hospital redevelopment should be understood in the context of a plan for the wider health and social care system
- The NHS needs to invest in people with a wider range of skills and expertise.
The report also recommends a close relationship between the design team and the client, adopting a value based approach to procurement using lifetime cost, investing in design to build in flexibility and carbon neutral buildings.
The paper is a worthwhile read for anyone involved in building healthcare facilities and is available to download here: