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A look inside…Freshney Green Primary Care Centre


Perhaps the greatest thing about a new primary care building is the opportunity to make it work for the way you work. It’s the proverbial blank piece of paper, a fresh start allowing you to design a space around how you and your patients will use the building.

This month, our featured property is Freshney Green Primary Care Centre. Designed by GPS, the property spans over 7,000 square meters to create the home for three practices and a range of other local health services. The site, which formed part of a £53m regeneration scheme to help transform the Yarborough estate, brings in other services such as pharmacy, physiotherapy, chiropody and audiology.

The award-winning building has lots of fascinating features but what can we learn from Freshney Green on how your practice environment and layout benefit your patients?

Design of the waiting room


Although patients may arrive anxious, if designed correctly, time in your waiting room can calm nerves and prepare them for a productive conversation with you. The British Journal of General Practice examined how “unloved” looking waiting rooms with lots of files piled up at the back of reception areas, along with too much literature on walls can set an unwelcoming tone. At Freshney Green the waiting room was built to be flexible with three clear sections for each of the practices with rooms behind each of the reception desks, creating a welcoming and friendly environment for patients.

Wide Open Spaces


The open spaces throughout this building combine daylight and electric light for a bright feel, which supports mental and physical health but also reduces energy use. Zoned spaces in waiting areas, along with links to natural light and the outside world, help patients feel more relaxed and welcome.

Flexible Spaces


Being involved with the design of a new primary care centre is also a time to think about what else – and who else – might be keen to work alongside your practice, and what other services you want your patients to be able to access easily. Making spaces flexible, so that rooms and areas can be enlarged or compressed easily for different uses, makes room for other services as a genuine community health hub.

Freshney Green is also home to:

  • Focus, an independent adult social work organisation within the North East Lincolnshire and the UK
  • A pharmacy which provides a wide range of community pharmacy services to residents of Freshney Green and Grimsby
  • Yarborough/ Clee Health Visiting Team who offer support and advisory service around health and health related issues for all families with children under the age of five – taking over from the midwives and eventually passing over care to the school nurses.
  • Cromwell Dental Practice
  • Cafe4 which is part of the Social Firm Jobs4all
  • Additional mental health services
  • Physiotherapy


Flexibility is particularly crucial for patients with poor mobility and parents with small children. With rooms which can be used for many different purposes and by lots of different clinicians, easy-to-navigate journeys around the building and lifts to other floors, buildings can do much to help staff see patients in the best place for their needs.

For more on our work to look at the best of international healthcare building design, read our whitepaper, Designing the Future.