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Healthcare Estates 2019 - the Results from our Visitor Survey

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The results are in!

At Healthcare Estates 2019 we challenged visitors to our interactive stand to think about how we prioritise healthcare in the UK, and how this impacts upon healthcare design and development.

Through questions targeted at NHS Estates staff, design team members and suppliers, we compiled and analysed key data. The full infographic of these findings can be seen here.

Below we explore the highlights:

In 2017 the healthcare budget was £197.4bn.

This made up a total of 9.7% of the UK’s GDP, which only 20% of visitors believed was enough.

The fact is, the UK's investment ranks on the lower end of the scale compared to countries such as France (11.5%) and Norway (10.5%), but is higher than Ireland (7.4%). This is likely due to the different way healthcare is funded and implemented in these countries, as dramatically illustrated by the USA (17.1%).

Some visitors, although they did not believe we needed to increase the budget, qualified this with the opinion that the money is not being spent correctly, or prioritised in the right ways. However 80% stated the funding was insufficient.

This led to our next question: how should we increase the healthcare budget?

78.8% of healthcare funding comes from public sources, while 21.2% is from the private sector.

A quarter of visitors believe private healthcare should be further developed to support the NHS. This could either be complementary or supplementary to public healthcare as a two-tier healthcare model.

Half of visitors believed an increase in taxation, whether by targeted tax or general tax is the way to increase funds. Targeted tax, either on select goods or persons, could ensure those most vulnerable are not affected.

Of the other options available, 14% voted for developer funded leaseback, and 5% voted for asset-backed funding.

49.7% of the budget in 2017 was spent on reactive healthcare, with just 5.2% spent on preventative.

Based on this, over 40% of people said there should be an increase in funding for preventative healthcare. Prevention is often easier and cheaper than long term healthcare and could significantly relieve strain on the healthcare system.

We explore a holistic approach to healthcare in our article 'Everyone Active Every Day' and how social prescriptions, such as those running, dance, or art could result in better health outcomes in the long-term.

Lastly we asked for thoughts and general comments on the state of the NHS, its threats and any potential improvements.

We found two running themes in the comments; the desire for sustainable healthcare solutions, and concerns over the viability of the long-term plan for the NHS.

The former included comments such as: '[need for] evidence-based design in architectural education' and 'more sustainable, smart buildings.' And the latter: 'need to plan more for the long-term,' and 'more support for mental health and prevention measures.'

These opinions mirrored AFL's own approach to our healthcare designs: to concentrate on the long-term. Sustainable development is a three-facet equation across environmental, economic and social factors, and it is in finding a balance where we can best develop our designs in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

See the full infographic here.

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