Unique not-for-profit company comprising clinicians, healthcare planners, architects, contractors, and researchers to deliver training to the NHS in an effort to improve the built environment
The new organisation will help educate NHS managers on building design with the aim of improving the healthcare estate
Healthcare planners, architects, contractors, and clinical staff have come together to launch a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) which will empower the NHS with the skills to maximise the value of capital development projects.
Healthcare Design Leadership is a first of its kind in the UK, with the aim of helping every NHS trust become a highly-informed client at all levels by training clinical and managerial NHS personnel on how to effectively engage in the design and development process of hospitals and other healthcare buildings.
It is a collaboration between healthcare planners, MJ Medical; specialist healthcare architects, Llewelyn Davies; and Professor Ashok Handa, a professor of vascular surgery and director of teaching in surgery at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford.
And it is made up of a multi-disciplinary faculty comprising clinicians, healthcare planners, architects, contractors, and researchers.
In addition to the founding partners, contributors to the training programme include sector-leading representatives from a variety of organisations, including Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sir Robert McAlpine, WSP, and TClarke.
As the key users of healthcare buildings alongside patients and their families, it is vital for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and managers to be the principal stakeholders in the full lifecycle of planning and designing new healthcare facilities
Through their extensive experience of healthcare capital development, the founders will provide a comprehensive package of knowledge transfer, delivered in a variety of ways, to NHS trusts and personnel.
By enabling healthcare leaders and practitioners to enhance their skills and engagement in the briefing, planning, design, construction, and commissioning process, they hope to shape the way healthcare will be delivered in the future by developing world-class new buildings.
Professor Handa said: “We recognised the need for this type of training and wanted to utilise our combined skills and experience to support NHS leaders in a variety of roles within the healthcare system, be it clinician, manager, estates team, or a chief exec.
“It was important to us to deliver world-class training on a not-for-profit basis at the lowest-possible cost to the NHS.”
He added: “As the key users of healthcare buildings alongside patients and their families, it is vital for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and managers to be the principal stakeholders in the full lifecycle of planning and designing new healthcare facilities.
“And a growing body of research has identified that, all too often, a gap in understanding and skills means the value these stakeholders’ input has on the design and development process is less than it could be.
“This can cause the resulting design to be sub-optimal, frustrating potential efficiency gains and compromising the improvements in clinical care realised when organisation and building are working in unison.”
And Kate Bradley, senior consultant at MJ Medical and director of Healthcare Design Leadership CIC, said: “The more we discussed the idea with industry colleagues, the more enthusiasm we generated.
A growing body of research has identified that, all too often, a gap in understanding and skills means the value these stakeholders’ input has on the design and development process is less than it could be
“This has enabled us to build a multi-disciplinary team of industry leaders, with decades of experience in planning and delivering new healthcare buildings in the UK and internationally.
“All of our team agreed to provide their time pro bono and share the belief that the course generates genuine social value, which aligns perfectly with our collective passion to support the NHS.”
Healthcare Design Leadership delivers its CPD-accredited training in a variety of ways, including bespoke tailored courses for individual NHS trusts and residential courses at St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford, which is open to all.
And, having already delivered training to over 50 people at several acute London trusts embarking on major hospital redevelopment projects, the feedback has been positive, with 100% of attendees saying they would recommend the course to a colleague.