WELLBEING AND ENVIRONMENT
The Congress highlighted the crucial link between the built environment and the well-being of patients and staff. Design elements such as access to nature, circadian lighting, intuitive wayfinding, and low-stimulus environments were recognised for their significant positive impact on physical and mental health outcomes.
Hassell-designed projects, including Herston Quarter Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) and Fiona Stanley Hospital, serve as examples of holistic design where care facilities are integrated with generous green spaces and landscaping to enhance the well-being of users. STARS offers interactive spaces including dining areas with rooftop decks and courtyards that can encourage patient respite, recovery and connections. Fiona Stanley Hospital blends seamlessly into its environment, with inviting seating, sculptures, and views of green landscapes. Such projects showcase the potential for how the built environment can promote healing and wellbeing.
SUSTAINABILITY IN HEALTHCARE
Sustainability concerns, ranging from addressing climate change to achieving Net Zero healthcare facilities, took centre stage during discussions. Morag Lee shared insights from the first in a series of sustainability workshops being conducted with Dr Mark Davie from Aurecon and Doctors for the Environment. The workshop highlighted the ways in which hospital infrastructure can be adapted to align with emerging sustainability strategies in the delivery of clinical support systems.
“While many hospitals have implemented strategies to reduce wastage, facility designs standards and guidelines have not kept pace with these changes. For instance, with the reduction in use of single use products, sterilising facilities for glass and metals will need to expand, if this is not recognised at the early planning stages of our new facilities implementing change will be difficult ‚” says Morag.
“In the same way, if we do not look more closely at the needs for improved waste separation, opportunities for enhanced recycling may be compromised. It is encouraging to see hospital pharmacies embracing practices to minimise stock and increase efficiency and safety through automated ordering and robotic picking and delivery systems, however design standards, as currently mandated are being slow to adapt to this shift.”
Many public hospitals’ catering departments are now exploring the private hospital model of room service food selection and delivery. This is a departure from the traditional one-size-fits-all method prevalent in many public health systems where patients are given limited choice when it comes to what they want to eat and when. Trials in Australia have demonstrated the benefits of this approach, including increased patient satisfaction, improved nutrition, and a measurable reduction in food waste.
“What these interactive workshops have shown is that the flow-on consequences of positive service change need to be considered up-front so that, as designers, we are enabling and enhancing the potential of sustainability objectives and not stifling them.”
— Morag Lee, Principal
Hassell and Aurecon are planning additional workshops this year, including one focused on ‘The ideal location for care — a consumer’s voice’.
The European Healthcare Design Congress and Hassell’s sustainability workshops highlight the potential of design treatments for shaping the future of resilient health systems.
“We saw so much enthusiasm in these workshops. Bringing together dedicated healthcare professionals from various sectors holds immense value. Cross-disciplinary and thoughtful consideration must be a key strategy if we are to achieve sustainable outcomes in healthcare briefing and design.”
WA’s first children’s hospice approved
The Western Australian Planning Commission has approved the state’s first and only purpose-built children’s hospice facility, designed by Hassell. The facility will provide round-the-clock care for children with life-limiting conditions. “This beautifully designed and situated hospice will make a tremendous difference to the West Australian families going through what is the most challenging of journeys,” said WA premier Roger Cook. “I am looking forward to seeing this important facility complete and supporting children, their parents, siblings and other loved ones and providing them comfort.” Read the full article in ArchitectureAU.
New site chosen for WA Women and Babies Hospital
ArchitectureAU reports that the Western Australian government has confirmed the new $1.8 billion maternity hospital will be built at the Fiona Stanley Hospital precinct in Murdoch, close to a medihotel and the Murdoch railway station. The Women and Babies Hospital will offer an expanded range of obstetrics and gynaecology, including neonatal cots.
Herston Quarter STARS — Brisbane, Australia
New York Metropolitan Magazine features our innovative health care centre Herston Quarter STARS (Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service), noting that the centre is set to challenge what we expect from health facilities and change the way people recover from serious treatment, with a design that reflects the latest insights into better long-term care. “This best-practice facility is a working model of a connected healing environment – a place designed to improve both the experience and outcomes of patients recovering from surgery.”