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CABE hits out at hospital designs

CABE has damned modern hospital design, saying today's poor architecture will condemn future generations to abysmal health facilities.

In its annual design review report, it slams NHS Trusts for putting too much emphasis on short-term clinical goals.

In Design Reviewed 2, published this week, design review adviser Lucy Carmichael writes: 'From our experience, efficient healthcare delivery is the most pressing concern for NHS Trusts and their preferred bidders.

'The creation of a healing environment and good urban design almost inevitably takes second place.' The report adds that the majority of hospitals seen by CABE's design review panel are not informed adequately by a study of the cities in which they will be built.

The design watchdog - which came under fire from a House of Commons select committee report last week for its 'cursory' attitude - says that the best schemes it has reviewed consider hospital buildings as 'pieces of a wider city'.

It warned of the danger of basing hospital layouts too closely on a detailed set of clinical requirements, while lacking an overall organisation.

'In this case the building will be difficult and expensive to change, ' the report says.

Design Reviewed 2 will be launched officially at Farrell and Partners' new Home Office building this evening (Thursday 17 March).

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