Incorporating fundamentally healthy design principles for NHS buildings will be key to upholding the provision of quality healthcare, according to REHAU.
This warning follows the publication of a new poll by the NHS Confederation, which found that nine in ten health leaders believe that ageing building stock is posing a risk to patient safety and impeding waiting list recovery.
Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing & Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, said: “The NHS Confederation’s latest poll serves to confirm concerns highlighted by our recent guide, Designing Healthy Healthcare. Namely, ageing building stock is having a knock-on effect for the provision of healthcare.
“Going forwards, incorporating healthy design principles from the get-go will be key to ensuring that health estates are able to function effectively well into their lifespan. Only through adopting this approach can the sector ensure that occupant wellbeing is not encroached upon further down the line.”
The NHS Confederation’s poll highlights a lack of capital investment over the past decade as a key reason for the deterioration of building stock. However, with the Government pledging £3.7 billion for the construction of 40 new hospitals by 2030, REHAU believes that this presents an opportunity to instil healthy design principles going forwards.
Designing Healthy Healthcare forms part of four-guide series that also spans apartments, hotels and educational buildings. Within the guides, REHAU surveyed 520 M&E designers and architects working across these sectors to how evaluate how attitudes to healthy building design have changed in the face of other growing market challenges.
The guide also highlights a number of key considerations for healthy design in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and care homes to ensure building and occupant well-being. This includes facility ventilation, temperature control, acoustics and the provision of drinking water.
Steve concluded: “The NHS is one of the greatest assets to the nation. However, it continues to be placed under threat by ageing building stock. At this juncture, it’s important to take this challenge as a learning opportunity on the importance of healthy design.
“With 40 new hospitals on the way, the UK healthcare sector has been presented with an opportunity to build back better, with both occupant wellbeing and sustainability at the heart of these new developments. By opting for fundamentally healthy design choices, as detailed in our recent guides, we can create long-lasting facilities that allow the NHS to function effectively for years to come.”