Many years ago I had the good fortune to work with an Engineer of genius guy
statue. He was an American citizen of Indian (as in Delhi, not Delaware) origin, and a Ph.D holder. Back in those days I was very much into "kit". What I mean is that (like many who contribute or lurk
on this forum, I should imagine) I used to concentrate on the engineering support and maintenance of medical equipment, to the almost total exclusion of everything else (it was, after all, my job). Well, there was a new hospital build going on at the time, and it the was the good Doctor K. who introduced me to the concept of "the hospital as a system". Like all real Engineers, good and true, he had an ability to "think outside the box" and his methods certainly helped me to remove the blinkers, as it were. He was the guru
, and I was, er, Luke Skywalker (or should that have been the Karate Kid
One of the strange outcomes of one of our treasured British characteristics (ie, the tendency to want to always do things "on the cheap") is that, believe it or not, we have often been at the forefront when it comes to hospital design. Iím thinking cost effective, value for money, throughput, utility etc. here, as opposed to opulence (eg, as seen, for instance, in Riyadh).
So, for any of you who still donít know your Harness from your Nucleus, your Nightingale from your Pavilion, your Best Buy from your PFI, or even your Greenwich from your Northwick Park, I can heartily recommend
Be warned, though, that it is an 80-page PDF file, and that once you get hooked, youíll be wanting more!
Some of you may even be working in hospitals of pioneering design, without perhaps realizing it. For instance, the West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St.Edmunds (Best Buy
), Maidstone (Nucleus
). There are, of course, many others.
So, read on, and yetís have the discussion. As you may have gathered, I have enjoyed my own involvement with new hospital projects over the years, and strongly feel that itís an area where the voices of us biomeds need to be heard. As Iíve said before (and only partly in jest), the last people who should be allowed to design hospitals are architects (or, even worse, doctors)! Having said that, there have been some brilliant hospital architects around (about more of which later, I hope).