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PROJECT REPORT: HEALTHCARE BUILDINGS


39


of stay of episodes through availability of reablement services.” As well as the key health-related drivers, they were also mindful of tackling social isolation and security issues the elderly often face. “We want to improve quality of life,” he explains.


A design challenge Designing a building that was, in certain respects, the first of its kind, was always going to prove challenging. But what made this even more testing for the practice was that they were designing the building with no specific end-user in mind. The CCG works with partners – including GPs, NHS trusts and the local authority – on staffing. However, “at the time of briefing,” explains Yeomans, “the CCG hadn’t commissioned the services that would be going into the centre, so the design team couldn’t engage with the staff that would eventually use the building”. They worked with key stakeholders within organisations likely to end up involved, but naturally, “their input was necessarily informal and detached.” Additionally, along with the CCG and Citycare, they analysed data to ensure they were optimising space provision, while catering for the expected population. It was, says Yeomans, through this


ADF NOVEMBER 2018


“careful planning” that they achieved an 18 per cent reduction in floor space compared to conventional hospital standards. He credits this as being key in the project gaining business case approval. This also naturally proves more beneficial to the patients in this setting, he says, “getting away from the ‘miles and miles’ of hospital corridors and keeping the building at a friendly scale – hard to quantify, but an important consideration.” It also encourages the integration of the services through shared office and social spaces. Working with the various stakeholders also required a great deal of thought. “Planning meetings required care, political adeptness and sensitivity to differing and often conflicting organisational objectives,” says Yeomans. “At each stage we were able to present data; reasonable benchmarking that helped the commissioning team to develop a sustainable shared vision for the project.” This data covered a variety of areas including 3D modelling, sketches, workshops and reports.


The other tricky aspect to navigate was keeping costs down. Fixed at £7.5m, Yeomans explains that the budget “was reasonably tight for the amount of accommodation needed, plus the extended


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“By organising the welcoming point at the heart of the low rise building, all the clinical and support functions are nearby and accessible” Paul Yeomans, Medical Architecture


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