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Monday 24th November 2003

Designing Better Hospitals


How much can a hospital's design impact on the recovery time of patients and the overall happiness of staff?


The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) set out to find out the answer to this question, interviewing 500 nurses and commissioning four concept images exploring the unexplored possibilities of ward design.

Click on the PICTURE GALLERY link in the bottom right-hand column of this page to see those designs. Visit the Healthy Hospitals website to vote for your favourite.

CABE found that nine in every 10 nurses believe a well designed environment is significantly related to patient recovery rates. The same number believe a poorly designed hospital contributes significantly to stress levels and that patients behave better towards staff in well designed wards.

The research comes ahead of an expected announcement on new projects under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which CABE see as a "once in a generation" opportunity.

"Investment in design is insignificant relative to the lifetime costs of the building," insists CABE's Chief Executive, Jon Rouse. "However, the benefits to patients and staff are immeasurable. CABE's research demonstrates how good design can increase staff morale, patient well being and even reduce the use of pain killers."

Click here to go to the Health Hospitals website to vote on your favourite design, plus view the PICTURE GALLERY by clicking on the link in the right-hand column of this page.

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