The UK healthcare sector is very much at the forefront of the public consciousness, with the increasing pressures on the NHS and the adult social care sector regularly making the headlines.
Despite the much-discussed funding issues, the good news is that the country still continues to provide new, high-quality healthcare-related facilities to help meet the needs of an expanding and rapidly ageing population.
It is here that architects play a crucial role. Good building design is pivotal to efficient and effective healthcare delivery, whether it be through a patient-friendly hospital, sophisticated medical research and test facility, or a residential care home.
In this issue we look at some great examples of healthcare design, such as the new woodland campus-inspired Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary hospital in south west Scotland. As our in-depth feature reveals, a huge emphasis has been placed by the architects and their clients on designing a building that endeavours to create an uplifting, health-promoting environment for patients, visitors and staff.
In rural Wiltshire, we put the spotlight on Wadswick Green, a new kind of retirement village with attractive, spacious homes that adapt to meet residents’ changing care needs as they age, enabling them to live independently in the same accommodation for as long as possible.
Jess Unwin explores the Jack Copland Centre, the new headquarters of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) and a sophisticated centre of excellence set to provide vital blood processing and testing services, among other services, when it opens this year.
Guest commentator Heather Fennimore argues the case for creating buildings that promote health and wellbeing using the concept of generative space, while Gordon Hudson asks if a new approach is needed to improve the sustainability features in health sector buildings.
Elsewhere, our experts offer guidance on specifying flooring and hoist systems; the importance of including appropriate drinking water systems in the design phase; and reducing the risk of burns and scalding in healthcare facilities by choosing the right radiators and mixer taps.
There’s certainly plenty inside to give you food for thought.