Healthier Places

Add to Scrapbook

Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) is working with the Scottish Government Health & Social Care Directorate (SGHSCD) and Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) to support Health Boards create truly healing places. Quality underpins the future vision for healthcare in Scotland; the quality of support and services provided by the NHS, Local Authorities and the Third Sector, and the quality of environment needed to support each community in this. The vision is for:

an estate designed with “a level of care and thought that conveys respect”; buildings that grow from the local history and landscape, that are developed in partnership with the local community. A work of joint learning and joint responsibility that is particular to that community and that place; “not off the shelf shoe boxes”.

(ref: CMO in A Vision of Health)

The way we work is tailored to the circumstances of each project, but in general terms we:

  • Assist those commissioning new, or substantially redeveloped facilities, to set strategic design standards for the project, linking the business objectives to the quality of environment created for patients and staff – the attributes the facility must possess to allow people to access and provide the required services – and the additional benefits that can be realised through investment in that community. This ‘Design Statement’ is illustrated with views of what success might look like, learning from recent good practice developments, to provide a project specific vision which is then embedded in the business case process.
  • Provide a co-ordinated assessment, with HFS, of the potential quality of proposed projects to support those responsible for decision-making within the business case process.
  • Communicate evidence on the value of design and examples of good practice in both processes and products across NHSScotland through publishing guidance, design studies and by communicating the successes and lessons of completed developments. Within the Healthier Places part of the A&DS website you will find ‘Pulse‘ a database of case studies and images of healthcare environments across Scotland and beyond, allowing clients and design teams to share their successes and explore possibilities for new projects.
  • Engage with partner organisations and central procurement agencies to assist them in their work and in raising awareness of external parties involved in delivery.
  • Assist Boards to consider the future shape of their estate and engage with partners in Local Authorities in developing community wide approaches to the infrastructure needed to underpin the 2020 Vision.

This programme is underpinned by the Scottish Government Health Directorate’s ‘Policy on Design Quality for NHSScotland’. This important piece of guidance recognises the increasing body of evidence that the principles of good design – such as integration into the community and a sense of place – make a quantifiable positive impact on patients, visitors and staff.

Please contact to seek assistance in relation to a particular project, or are interested in uploading images to Pulse or would like to know more about anything you have seen on the website.

In association with The Scottish Government and Health Facilities Scotland


Supporting NHSScotland Health Boards and their partners in the creation of successful healthcare facilities by sharing best practice.

Case Notes: Client Leadership

Case Notes: Client leadership features the work of seven inspirational clients and draws lessons on the key factors to their success in the deliver

Case Study: The Shields Centre

This community hub in Pollokshields, Glasgow integrates traditional GP services with local social work services and community initiatives. 

Case Study – Dumfries Dental Centre

The Dumfries Dental Centre is a ground-breaking centre of excellence and learning that moves away from traditional dental building models.

Dental Surgery Design

It is estimated that for one in four adults a visit to the dentist can cause some degree of anxiety and fear.

Exhibition: A Picture of Health

Over the past 4 years, NHSScotland has embarked on a world-leading process, NHSScotland Design Assessment Process...

Sustainability in Re-use

This publication looks at four case studies, examining the impact and opportunities of re-using existing healthcare facilities.

SERVICE: Health Design Advice

Our Health Design Advice service, delivered with Health Facilities Scotland, helps those who commission new, or substantially redeveloped, facilities.

SCIM Design Statements

Description of SCIM Design Statements for NHS Scotland with links to project pages.

A Park for Cars

Looking at the challenges of provision of parking for healthcare buildings.

Dignified Spaces

New South Glasgow Hospital: a brief look at the ‘Dignified Spaces’ project to understand the thinking behind their approach to quiet spaces

Scroll to top