Quality and efficiency - A primary care reference study

This resource aims to share lessons from a reference design project looking at primary care. 

A hospital's two-storey high interior space, with a social area on the right, floor-to-ceiling windows and a large staircase.

Quality and efficiency - A primary care reference study

Health and Social Care is changing rapidly.

Imagining new ways of working and a place that can support them is a difficult task. It is something that most client teams tackle just once. They do this in a context of uncertainty. People are asked to get together, setting aside barriers and territories, with financial constraints that can cause anxiety about the quality of the environment expected at the end of the process. Often these teams learn in isolation from others tackling similar issues and build solely on local experience.

To help teams achieve their goals we published (in 2015) Quality and Efficiency to share lessons from a reference design project. Download the document to read about how clever design and working together helped a primary care centre save money and create a valued resource for the community. 

Quality and efficiency - the study

As part of the study, two architecture practices – BDP and Gareth Hoskins Architects – were tasked with developing creative responses to the new integrated social and health care agenda. Solutions should meet the expectations of the Quality Strategy and the Policy on Design Quality for NHSScotland, for projects that were efficient, affordable, and deliverable in a real context.

Quality and efficiency: value for money lessons and performance measures from the Primary Care reference design project was funded by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate, chaired by the Scottish Futures Trust, and delivered through Hub West Scotland.

"I found the process enlightening, informative and interesting – it seemed the architects had a real desire to understand how GPs work, and how the design of the building could complement this whilst providing a positive experience for staff and patients. Ideas, concerns and expectations were incorporated, and the final concept exceeded my expectations." - GP involved in the project 

Working together

Concepts were developed through focused and intensive engagement with the client team and wider stakeholders for a project being commissioned by East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership (East Renfrewshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde).

This collaborative process was supported by Health Facilities Scotland, to allow wider lessons to be captured to help future clients for similar facilities across Scotland.

Lessons shared in the document

Replicable ideas and elements from the designs to support briefing and appraisal of future projects.

Learning from the streamlined appointment procedure adopted, and the methods of engagement with stakeholders.

Establishing area and financial benchmarks for similar developments to help clients in assessing value for money.

Achieving savings

Through clever design, the intelligent use of space, and the development of attractive and supportive working areas, the teams were able to reduce the total area of the building and gain the stakeholders’ confidence that the proposal would work for them.

It is estimated that the savings realised through the intelligent use of design are approximately £900,000 in construction costs (more than 22 times the design fee to develop the building concept)*, which in terms of the revenue funding of the development equates to approximately £2.5m.

* cost base 4Q 2012, fees to stage C only.

Tangible benefits

The project demonstrates the tangible benefits of effective stakeholder engagement, joint working and a design-led approach.  The client group adopted the concept developed by Gareth Hoskins Architects. Both the process of the study and the designs have been well received by the people involved.

You can read more about Eastwood health centre in our Pulse Projects section - find it by searching for Eastwood.

Our work on health and social care facilities 

We have a variety of resources available on our website that can help you design better health and social care facilities. From guides to galleries and blogs to case studies, the resources on our website focus on placing people at the heart of the decision-making process. 

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