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Coming soon: The GP surgery with an outdoor waiting area

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A WARRINGTON property company has launched its vision of the way GP surgery building design may change in the coming decade.

Traditional doctors’ waiting areas are set to become a thing of the past, and outside seating and digital walls becoming familiar sights for patients.

In a 2030 primary healthcare centre, patients will check-in on screen then use time in the centre’s garden, self-monitoring glass pods or in other areas to work, browse, read or research – until they are called to see their doctor via a smart phone app. The features are part of a project by healthcare property company Assura, based on the Wildespool Business Park, looking at how primary care’s growing use of technology will shift the way its buildings are designed and laid out .

The building will be designed around both remote video consulting and face-to-face appointments, incorporating point-of-care diagnostics so patients make fewer journeys for further tests. Digital media throughout the building will help staff share information and patients to feel calm.

Patients will also be able to access NHS health apps on tablets, while a ‘check out’ screen will automatically send their appointment and prescription details to mobile devices.

Simon Gould, Assura’s head of development, said: “In the coming decades, surgery building design will have to reflect the way primary care is using technology. As elements like remote consultation and point of care diagnostics become more familiar, they will change the way GPs and their teams use their space. There’s huge opportunity for the building design to work with technology to help teams to be flexible.

“This specific design wouldn’t work everywhere: primary care premises must be right for the communities they serve. But many of the principles reflect the experiences the NHS wants us all to have as patients.

“By the time we get to 2030, this initial design may be old news. But today, we hope it at least acts as a starting point for conversations, ideas and innovation: how will primary care, tech and design combine?”

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