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Public health: in the right place updates


Our 2030 surgery project, launched last year, set out our vision of what a community medical building of the future might look like – as the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan influence the way primary care buildings look, feel and operate for the patients and staff who use them. With the National Association of Primary Care, we’re looking at how that design might need to evolve, using the experiences of healthcare professionals in the NHS’s places and spaces during the pandemic so far and our work with the Patients Association on what patients want to see to help them feel safe.

We’ve also teamed up with other organisations to develop that vision even further, in our ‘Public health: in the right place’ project. What will the patients using that medical centre of the future want from their care? What will community health mean to us as patients by 2030? What will patients see as their priorities for community health as we move out of the pandemic – and how can spaces (both physical and virtual) help to deliver them? Read the summary of the first discussion for this project, and an essay on the themes that the group went on to explore.

The group concluded that: “Whole systems thinking – and a radical re-set – can bring together the best-of-the-best: new tech platforms and networks for social good; inspirational, as well as aspirational, design, that takes medicine closer to the home; local interventions that better balance the compassion of third sector actors with the financial muscle of the state – and liberate many communities (the poor, the vulnerable, the homeless, the disabled, the digitally disenfranchised) from ‘forgotten’ status. Free-at-the-point-of-delivery, cradle-to-grave patient care is a cherished and protected ambition: but it is better delivered through new 21st century ecosystems.”

The group is now looking at how it can test some of its thinking in local experiments, including our update of our ‘surgery of the future’ concept looking beyond the pandemic.