This month, NLA focuses on the topic of Healthcare. For our first event, we invited a series of industry experts to present and debate the issues facing London’s healthcare buildings in a half-day conference: ‘Capital Health’.
Alex Bax, former health advisor to the Mayor of London, gave a clear overview of the issues facing healthcare, including the move away from large hospital sites to more localised services, such as polyclinics, academic health science centres and specialist local centres.
Andrew Barraclough, Director at HOK presented their work on the Royal London, a large hospital on a very tight urban site, which is due for completion in 2014. Conor Burke of NHS Redbridge then introduced the new wave of polyclinics which aim to bring healthcare closer to the community and incorporate a range of healthcare services previously only found in hospitals. Within the next few months there will be at least one polyclinic in each borough, increasing to 5-6 within the next few years.
However, as the huge growth in NHS funding is set to level out in 2010/2011, Martyn Evans, Partner at Davis Langdon predicted that this will result in fewer new build projects and more refurbishment of existing stock. This will present new challenges for the NHS, with an aging stock of buildings, and an over and under capacity in different parts of the capital.
Healthcare buildings made a strong impact in the Stirling Prize this year, with Kentish Town Health Centre by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in the shortlist of six and Maggie’s Centre by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners winning the coveted prize. Models of both schemes are on display in the NLA galleries until the end of the month.