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Aligning the health system with tomorrow’s world

With the NHS celebrating its 75th anniversary earlier this year, two senior Arcadis personnel look back at some of the major changes in healthcare provision and buildings, and forward to the key steps – including increasing digitalisation, and ‘embedding healthcare deeper into the fabric of communities’ – they believe will help ensure a resilient service.

With the NHS having celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this year, Graham Harris, Principal, and Neil Evans, Associate Principal, at Arcadis, look back at some of the major changes in healthcare provision and buildings over the period, and forward to some of the key steps – including increasing digitalisation and ‘embedding healthcare deeper into the fabric of communities’ – that they believe will help ensure a resilient service, able to cope with changing demographics and demands, in the future.

The ground-breaking NHS marked an incredible 75 years of service on 5 July this year. It has long been a source of tremendous pride for the UK, and – as the world’s first free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare service available to all citizens – set a new standard and blueprint followed by other nations for their own health services. In the three quarters of a century since, the transformation of healthcare – and how we think of healthcare facilities – has been vast. This has gone hand in hand with how we design and build healthcare buildings, which has evolved accordingly to meet changes in the macro landscape, impacting priorities and needs. Architecture and design practitioners have started considering in greater detail than ever before the impact these buildings and facilities have on the staff, patients, and visitors, who use them. They are finding more creative ways to mirror these considerations when updating and maintaining buildings to ensure that they are modern, climate-friendly, energyefficient, digitally connected, appealing, comforting, and better embedded into their local communities. Crucially, this sets them up for longevity and agility to best serve the principles behind the NHS. 

The Government has a two-pronged priority – to prevent illness, while simultaneously strengthening public health. We have learned some hard lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, which put the NHS under enormous strain, and served to highlight where improvements are needed to make our health system fit for purpose in a new era. How can good design complement these efforts and shape the future of our NHS?

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Upcoming Events

Futurebuild 2024

ExCeL, London
5th - 7th March 2024

The Fire Safety Event 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
30th April - 2 May 2024

Wales regional conference, exhibition and awards dinner 2024

International Conference Centre (ICC) Newport
28th - 29th May 2024

NAHFO National Conference 2024

Crowne Plaza Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 5th June 2024

Design in Mental Health 2024

Manchester Central
4th - 5th June 2024

InstallerSHOW 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
25th - 27th June

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

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