Healthy Infrastructure aims to inspire people to better understand the vital importance of the relationship between wellbeing and the built environment, particularly in the field of healthcare although there is greater recognition for a much more joined up approach between agencies and in every part of the health and social care system.
What is the problem?
Recent studies provide significant evidence that demonstrates the impact that internal and external built environments can have on wellbeing and healthcare outcomes, thus adding to peoples’ quality of life and delivering health gains that provide a significant return on investment. The NHS is one of the biggest building landlords in the UK, however, much of this is either surplus to requirements or out dated thus increasing the risk of harm. It has become an urgent imperative to act swiftly and reduce this threat to health, and to promote healthy infrastructure and healthy practices for learning what works and what doesn’t and healthy businesses that manage and harness the potential of their capital assets to realistically, appropriately and openly deliver value for all stakeholders both public and private to capitalize on all competencies.
What is the solution?
Healthy Infrastructures is working with key partners to engage healthcare professionals, building constructors, funders, patients and the wider community in understanding the connections between health and physical infrastructure and the importance of procuring, designing and maintaining health conscious infrastructure. Millions of people enter NHS and other healthcare provider buildings every day as patients and employs over 1.3 million people, the impact of infrastructure has the potential to reach huge swathes of the population with the possibility for both positive and negative outcomes. What is more, once a building is paid for and maintained to a minimum standard, any additional value received by a patient through comfortable heating, pleasant acoustics, beautiful views, exciting and pleasant spaces and artworks that distract are all free over a buildings life, free of risk, and can create and carry on creating unique experiences for people over and over again with relatively few demands on resources when compared with day-to-day staffing and equipment operating costs.
Why is healthy Infrastructures best placed to carry this out?
Healthy Infrastructures was set up in 2012 out of concern for the future of healthcare infrastructure. Significant political reforms and the need for significant infrastructure reconfiguration, refurbishment and sale has meant that people are worried about their health, where they can assess it, and who is responsible for highly innovative and high quality buildings. Healthy Infrastructure is fortunate in having a wealth of experience both within its own small team, and through a wide network of partners, in the fields of healthcare infrastructure developed as part of HaCIRIC. During the past five years we have developed a range of propositions to support healthy infrastructure. Our programmes concentrate on three areas: engagement; knowledge sharing; and transformation. Healthy Infrastructure is established as an independent organisation, having been ‘incubated’ by research.
Our close understanding of healthcare and of the health system in the UK, combined with our knowledge of infrastructure and how these link enables us to work with partners in both these spheres to open doors and share ideas.
What we do
Through knowledge transfer activities we translate research into practical tools that support industry application. Are involvement with a cross-section of organisations and disciplines across supply, production and knowledge systems enables us to understand the whole picture identifying gaps and overlaps and helping to bridge relationships to support the optimisation of whole system value and performance. Because Healthy Infrastructure also translated academic research from large projects such as HaCIRIC we have a wealth of experience and understanding of a number of advanced and dynamic approaches.