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.