Architect Ed Baker on the government ‘building back to health’

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to “build our way back to health”, promising a ‘levelling up’ of hospitals: but will the UK government build it right?

British urban designer and architect Ed Baker is an authority on strategic and sustainable urban design and planning. He played a leading role in the planning of the then world-leading Health City Novena (HCN) in Singapore. Having come through the SARS outbreak, the country recognised the need for a facility designed for healthcare of the future: specifically to help combat future pandemics. HCN has played a vital role in controlling and managing Covid-19 in the country.

Ed says: “The Government’s promise of a significant hospital building programme in the UK provides a fantastic opportunity to look more fundamentally at how we design and build facilities that enable a modern approach to health, provide both patients and staff with high quality facilities and – vitally – create spaces that can adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

 “The Covid-19 pandemic, and the pressure it has placed on our ageing and cramped healthcare buildings, has demonstrated how crucial it is to revisit what we provide for future generations – not just in hospitals, but in care homes and hospices too.

 “The hospitals we have designed overseas show what can be done with integrated investment and planning. If we want a world-leading health system to help drive our civic and economic recovery, we need great facilities in which to deliver this.” 

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