Healthcare is at the top of the political agenda all over the world – in India, Europe, Australia or the USA. The JCA team has extensive experience in the UK and overseas, from project managing primary health networks in Ethiopia to designing quaternary oncology facilities in the UK.
This has given us a perspective which is international and provided us with a wide overview of good practice and what the future might hold. It has also taught us that different countries have different clinical cultures in which what is considered best practice varies considerably.
We have also learned that there is a smaller evidence base for design than is commonly imagined and where evidence exists it is not always directly transferrable across cultural boundaries. This has had a fundamental effect on our design approach which is well informed but is not culturally assertive. We always start from a position of respect and curiosity. We call this ‘learning how to forget without forgetting how to learn.’
Health care systems are changing fast, driven by patient expectation, technology, pharmaceuticals, IT and staff availability. Emerging nations need no longer look to the west for all their guidance and can construct systems based on new technologies and communication systems that may well be able to leapfrog existing models and create new services and building types.