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Journal cover: Journal of Facilities Management

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Online from: 2002

Subject Area: Built Environment

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Evaluation of a refurbishment scheme incorporating the King's Fund “Enhancing the Healing Environment” design principles

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Title:Evaluation of a refurbishment scheme incorporating the King's Fund “Enhancing the Healing Environment” design principles
Author(s):Helen Payne, (Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK), Daryl May, (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Citation:Helen Payne, Daryl May, (2009) "Evaluation of a refurbishment scheme incorporating the King's Fund “Enhancing the Healing Environment” design principles", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.74 - 89
Keywords:Mental health services, National health service, Patients, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14725960910929583 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – In 2000, a national initiative “Enhancing the Healing Environment” (EHE) was launched by the King's Fund to celebrate the millennium. This aimed to support nurse-led teams to undertake an environment improvement programme in their National Health Service (NHS) hospital. Sheffield Care Trust (SCT) decided to carry out this project in its intensive treatment suite, a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) providing care for up to six patients. There were no known examples of an EHE project being undertaken in a PICU elsewhere in the NHS. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of EHE design principles in improving the patient experience, from the perspectives of staff and patients.

Design/methodology/approach – A focus group and individual interviews were used as the primary method of data collection. Secondary data comprised sets of statistics related to pre- and post-refurbishment periods.

Findings – It was found that staff and patients liked many aspects of the changed environment. Staff felt improved openness of space, natural light, fresh air, reduced noise levels and greater choice of spaces to provide care, were most important. Patients cited a high quality, comfortable and homely environment (not like a typical NHS ward) as important; they also valued high standards of cleanliness, tidiness, choice and being able to view the outside, open windows and let in fresh air. Experiencing high quality clinical care was equally important. Incidence of physical assaults decreased markedly in the new environment.

Practical implications – NHS mental health services trusts will understand the benefits of applying EHE principles in PICUs or similar environments. Some project management shortcomings are identified and improvements suggested.

Originality/value – This paper is of value to NHS mental health trusts which need to decide on the effectiveness of different design principles for PICUs or similar environments.

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