Solent Estates architect addresses national conference

Good communication from an early stage is crucial in the successful design and planning of modern healthcare environments.

This was the message Solent NHS Estates Architect Mark Maffey gave to the prestigious Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM) 2022 conference held in Manchester this week.

The Senior Project Manager told delegates how it was vital to have good engagement from clinicians, suppliers and other stakeholders from the very start of a scheme, regardless of its size.

Mark, based at Westwood House in Bitterne, Southampton, said: “All too often, it is the simplest of things that gets forgotten when planning a new hospital or health building.

“Getting something as basic as the storage space wrong can result in disappointed and frustrated clinical teams, who are left on the frontline unable to do their job to the best of their ability.

“At their worst, brand new installations in other organisations are sometimes ripped straight out because they just don’t function how the medical staff intended.”

Mark told the conference how two-way conversation with clinicians and other key staff was crucial throughout the design process if the end result was to be successful.

“Potential flaws in the design of specialist clinical spaces should be spotted and tackled early on in the planning stage to avoid later disappointment,” he said.

“Without this open and honest two-way dialogue, things can be missed – and then don’t surface until it’s too late. Best practice among today’s clinicians moves at pace and we need to be listening and working together from the start to make sure the end result is the right one for our staff and patients.”

The two-day conference at the Manchester Central Complex is the UK’s largest event for the healthcare engineering and estates and facility management sector.

Mark Young, Associate Director of Estates Transformation, said: “With a large number of successful projects behind him, Mark is certainly the right person to talk about how best to lead the design process.

“Mark’s approach involves a lot of engagement, often using innovative ways to describe and develop his designs in partnership with patients and clinical teams.

“The results are always outstanding, and not only create a great visual experience, but a healthcare environment that is inviting, safe, supportive and adaptable.

“We are really proud to support the great work Mark does in creating fit for future spaces for our patients as well as inspiring workplaces for our clinical teams.”

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