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RCP publishes report on how to plan new hospitals

With plans to build 40 hospitals in the UK by 2030 now moving forward, the RCP has published a report outlining how new hospitals should be designed and planned to improve patient pathways and staff wellbeing.

Adapted from the RCP’s response to the 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize and aimed at everyone involved in hospital design, the report focuses on how to:

  • design hospital services around the needs of patients rather than the ‘system’
  • ensure that patients receive better, quicker services from hospitals
  • improve staff wellbeing in hospitals to enable better workforce retention and delivery of services.

Commenting on the launch of the report, RCP clinical vice president Dr Sarah Clarke said:

“As we plan the design of new hospitals, we have a huge opportunity to improve how we deliver patient care, improving the patient experience as well as staff wellbeing. Much has been learned over recent years from various improvement programmes but also from the experience and changes we were forced to make as we faced the pandemic”.

“From the significant amount of quality improvement work by NHS staff and pioneering efforts to design and document patient-centred services across primary, secondary, community and social care, we know what works. This ranges from genuinely co-designing services with patients to co-locating acute admission units”.

‘Our new hospitals will also need enough staff to be able to function effectively. This means we need to start training more clinicians now by doubling the number of medical school places but it will take time for the increase numbers to filter through. We also need to expand other staff groups and provide opportunities for extended roles. This includes physician associates, advanced clinical practitioners, pharmacists and clinical physiologists. It is vital we focus on staff wellbeing and retention of existing staff. Offering more flexible working practices should become standard not just in these new hospitals, but in NHS organisations across the UK and integrated care systems in England”.

Read the full report here