Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/nclexion/public_html/wp-content/themes/jnews/class/ContentTag.php on line 47
Authors: Anna Evans; Ben Stanfield-Davies; Maxine Estop Green; Victoria Pangratiou
Nuffield Health is the UK’s largest healthcare charity. With 31 hospitals, 111 fitness and wellbeing clubs, healthcare clinics and over 160 on-site workplace wellbeing services, it has a united purpose to build a healthier nation. Experts work together to make the UK fitter, healthier, happier and stronger. With sector-leading quality indicators, 94% of Nuffield Health’s hospitals are rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by independent regulators and are trusted by the NHS, private medical insurers, employers and the public to provide exceptional health and wellbeing services
Nuffield Health is constructing the first independent hospital in the City of London, Nuffield Health at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Due to open in 2021, the new facility, which is co-located with St Bartholomew’s NHS Hospital, will have 48 beds, four advanced operating theatres and 28 consultation rooms. It will be located next to the second-largest heart hospital in Europe, so the services offered will be predominantly cardiac-focused, although the hospital will also provide a full range of other services, including general surgery, oncology, orthopaedics, gynaecology and urology.
Why involve nurses in hospital design?
Building a new hospital is a complex endeavour requiring meticulous planning, multidisciplinary collaboration and expert insight. As experts in patient care, nurses are well positioned to provide such insight and ensure that a hospital is both fit for purpose and ergonomically designed. Nuffield Health actively involves nurses in new facility design, a policy employed earlier when building its Cambridge Hospital, which opened in 2015 and subsequently became the first independent hospital to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission.
Nurses: advocating for the patient through hospital design
Nursing expertise facilitates a patient-centric approach, ensuring that the design process has been informed by a detailed understanding of patient flow and clinical/environmental requirements. Nuffield Health places great importance on nursing expertise during build and commissioning to ensure that the highest standards of care are planned and delivered through detailed consideration of the patient’s experience and clinical quality. Unfortunately, many hospitals are still designed in ways that perpetuate inefficient and outdated practices, an issue central to the King’s Fund’s Time to Think Differently programme, which aimed to stimulate debate about the changes needed for organisations to meet future challenges.
How have Nuffield Health’s nurses been able to influence the design process?
Nuffield Health’s clinical commissioning team facilitated a partnership between architects, designers and nurses. Together they created an environment conducive towards the provision of consistently excellent, personalised care.
The design of the hospital determines critical allocation of space and the interacting flows between patients, clinicians, visitors and support services. Through the use of clinical insight, the team has been able to ensure that all aspects of hospital design are patient and service-led – thus facilitating the creation of a multi-purpose facility that is built to deliver excellence in patient experience, clinical quality and service efficiency.
Professional benefits to nurses involved
Clinical commissioning is an excellent development opportunity that can bring a great personal sense of satisfaction in delivering a high-specification hospital, and an enormous sense of pride and ownership of clinical care. It enables nurses to embed a patient-centred approach ensuring that systems and processes are designed around the patient, thereby facilitating the delivery of clinically excellent care.
One nurse involved in the build of Nuffield Health’s Cambridge Hospital said: “It was an incredible two-and-a-half-year journey being involved in building a hospital from scratch. From pouring over paper drawings trying to imagine the finished building, donning hard hats and safety footwear, ensuring every surgical item was in place to function, planning and walking through every work process and then performing the first surgery in our brand-new hospital, it was a very special moment that few people achieve during their career. I feel privileged to have been part of the team and can honestly say that since opening there are very few changes I would make. I feel very proud when patients praise the hospital – this is reflected by our CQC ‘outstanding’ status. I would happily do it all again.”