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Redefining healthcare buildings, with people in mind

Right across the globe, healthcare provision and the challenges associated with it sit high on the political agenda. Many factors contribute to failure or success in the prevention, treatment and management of illness, disease, infirmity and disability. But having the right infrastructure and buildings is most certainly a big factor.

Whether it’s improving access to healthcare in developing countries, or reacting to new clinical practice and technology in developed countries, the effects are felt in the healthcare estate, which can either hinder or help the change.

As a proportion of global healthcare spend, investment needed in healthcare buildings is small. But in the context of the construction market, the level of investment is enormous. The investment absolutely has to deliver good value for money. The best measure: faster, better clinical outcomes.

The construction industry’s role is to create environments where doctors and nurses can achieve uncompromised clinical excellence, and where the most important people in this process – individuals, families and communities – get healthier, quicker. This magazine lays out some thoughts and opinions from our healthcare experts and those of associated external colleagues.

Our team from across healthcare consulting, design, construction, planning, finance, international development and sustainability share thoughts on the latest challenges and opportunities in the sector. Our collective aim is to present the context for building facilities and infrastructure, helping customers recognise the right moment to make an investment, in the right area, to get the right outcomes.

In certain cases, that doesn’t mean building at all. Looking ahead, the healthcare sector faces some fundamental questions that will need the combined attention of many different problem solvers. For example, how does society build hospitals today that will keep pace with the rapid rate of change in medicine, society and technology?

How can estates change the fabric and layout of facilities to make patients feel more comfortable, and so aid their recovery? How can government departments target better use of technology and primary care to meet the growing needs of an aging population? How do economies pay for the necessary improvements, against a climate of financial uncertainty?

Addressing these challenges is vital for the future of healthcare in developed and developing countries alike. Converting our solutions into adaptive facilities, connected systems, more accessible care, properly supported clinicians and healthier lives is how we can all make a difference. They’re challenges we are working to resolve.

We would be delighted to discuss more with you – and hear about your challenges.

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