Architects for Health IHEEM Conference Session 7th October 2014

Architects for Health IHEEM Conference Session 7th October 2014
Procurement of design services – the good, the bad and the future

With the greater majority of design services for the NHS – architects, engineers, cost consultants and the like – employed in the private sector; and the parallel rise of procurement specialists and hubs associated with the NHS, the position could be portrayed as an increasing divide. The Architects for Health session on 7th October explored the evolution of the relationship between those who commission designers and those who provide those services, and rounded off with a pair of challenges to take forward.

Chaired by Paul Mercer, former AfH Secretary and aided and abetted by Claudia Bloom of Avanti Architects and Malcolm Aiston, Director of Estates and Facilities for Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, the session opened up a difficult topic which seemed to strike a chord with the audience who could be heard recounting the topic throughout the rest of the day. Continue reading


Architects for Health Visit to Guys Hospital and the Old Operating Theatre. 11th September 2014.

Nearly 50 of our members gathered in the consultants’ car park at Guys Hospital under the watchful gaze of Thomas Guy, former governor of St Thomas’s Hospital and patron of Guys Hospital. Once assembled the group was whisked away by Imogen Gray from Guys and St Thomas’ Charity which manages and organises art installations and development in the hospital group. A brief tour of some old and new parts of the buildings, entrances and hallways was conducted by Imogen who explained the role of the Charity and described the importance of integrated Art and Architecture within hospital development. Imogen then escorted the group to the Old Operating Theatre and joined us as we met with the curator and education officer in the Herb Garret, climbing the spiral staircase from the base of the clock tower in St Thomas Street. Continue reading

REGIONAL EVENT AND VISITS – Manchester and Liverpool

This year’s Regional Event took place in the North West of England where we reviewed new proposals and buildings under construction for acute hospital, cancer and mental health services.

The three themes that stood out in all the presentations were:

  • The relationship of health buildings to their immediate and neighbourhood context
  • Quality of design for all the people who use the health buildings
  • The relationship of the designer both to those who will use and also those who build the hospital

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Design in Mental Health

Design in Mental Health Network 13-14 May 2014

Improving Facilities. Transforming Attitudes

Architects for Health were delighted to continue their support of the Design In Mental Health Network conference. Our session featured 3 presentations that outlined innovative approaches to planning, sharing knowledge and designing for mental health services.

Sam McCumiskey, TIME Project Deputy Director for Merseycare NHS Trust, outlined an initiative developed by the Trust, called ‘a human rights approach’ to care based on FREDA – Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy. It sought to create ‘coercion-free environments’ and impacted on the way care was provided and managed as well as the design of the spaces in which it was delivered. Reflecting on the lessons learned, Sam pointed to the need for a clear vision to speed up approval processes, to be flexible and anticipate change. It clearly impacted on people as well as project management, on stakeholder relationships and was facilitated by the early mock-up of rooms and use of images to communicate the design implications.
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Lively presentations and debate took place on 6 March at the RIBA:

3 expert speakers – Candace Imison, Acting Director of Policy, Kings Fund; Dr Adrian Crellin, Consultant Clinical Oncologist DH and NHS England National Clinical Lead for Proton Therapy; John Cooper, Director of John Cooper Architecture and AfH (Outgoing Chair) presented their views on the implications for the future design of the built environment.
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