The UK and many other developed nations are facing myriad challenges in strengthening resilience within our healthcare systems, but there are opportunities to seize that can help us in this quest, such as investment in technology and the learning of new skills by both staff and patients.
In a moving and inspirational keynote on day two of the 2023 Congress, which took a slight detour from its plenary theme of ‘strengthening health system resilience’ to throw the reliance spotlight on the individual, traumatic brain injury survivor Ben Clench shared his insights on the importance of engaging with patients and harnessing the local voice and action when designing and delivering hospitals, health facilities and services.
With the climate crisis and sustainable healthcare design a strong theme of this year’s Congress, it was fitting that the European Healthcare Design Awards 2023, organised by Architects for Health and SALUS, should bring the event to a close by honouring a true trailblazer of regenerative design – Robin Guenther, a former principal of Perkins&Will and senior advisor to Health Care Without Harm, who sadly passed away last month following a prolonged battle with cancer.
In this keynote, Dr Nick Watts, the NHS’s first chief sustainability officer, describes the organisation’s net-zero strategy vision, the transformation process, and some of the innovative actions taking place across the system.
Royal College of Physicians president Andrew Goddard began his EHD 2022 keynote talk with a sombre depiction of the current state of healthcare, which, he said, is currently being visited by the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” – conquest, war, pestilence, and death.
The Government has committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, which together with eight existing schemes will mean 48 hospitals delivered by the end of the decade – the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.
The relationship between the city and the rural countryside in respect of food and how we eat was the topic served up by the first day’s closing keynote speaker, Carolyn Steel. An architect and author, Steel published her book, Sitopia: How food can save the world, as the UK entered its first lockdown due to Covid-19 in March 2020.
“If an error is possible, someone will make it.” A maxim espoused by one of the forefathers of modern human factors, Donald Norman, threaded through keynote speaker Dr Paul Barach’s talk at European Healthcare Design 2023, as he underlined the importance for healthcare systems to be true learning systems.