Healthcare design guidance – mainly Health Building Notes and Health Technical Memoranda – are a vital part of health facility design but this guidance is now increasingly out of date and suffering from lack of recent investment.
Architects for Health have taken the initiative in holding an industry-wide Round Table to debate the future of guidance. Held in Leeds in late 2016, the Round Table attracted delegates from the NHS, private sector and universities; over the course of a day, the group of around 30 explored the background, current position and future options for guidance.
The session was chaired by Prof John Cole, former Head of Estates for Northern Ireland and an important contribution was made by Jonathan Erskine, representing the European Health Property Network.
The conclusions and recommendations from the Round Table were wide-ranging and the full report can be viewed through the Architects for Health website homepage at www.architectsforhealth.com or directly at here.
The key aspects of the conclusions were that:
- Guidance is valuable and should be reinvigorated
- A new approach must include stakeholders from across the industry to avoid past mistakes where documents were produced by a small cabal
- Evidence from completed projects should be a cornerstone of guidance in the future
The Round Table significantly asked Architects for Health to conduct a survey across the industry to establish views and patterns of use for guidance, to help inform future development and direction. That survey is now live and all who use or have used design guidance are invited to contribute.
Architects for Health are in contact with many of the key healthcare organisations across the UK and also overseas: the objective of the current initiative is to encourage as wide a debate as possible on the future of healthcare guidance and thus gain broad agreement as to the way forward.