GP surgery

What will GP buildings look like in the future?

Many of us would agree that trying to get an appointment with a local GP can be challenging.  The national media have not been shy in painting a picture of an overstretched primary care sector, highlighting a national shortage of GPs, doctors turning their backs on the profession and junior doctors opting for more modern, ‘portfolio’ style careers. The pressure is also being felt by other health practitioners and out-of-hours services which are being asked to pick up the demand for GP services.

Thought-leaders in this area are beginning to think about how buildings themselves could be better utilised to deliver more effective, integrated services.  This, in-turn, might relieve some of the pressure on front line doctors and ties in nicely with the self-care and prevention agendas. 

But what do patients themselves think their GP service might look like in the future? Ahead of some exciting patient experience research we will be undertaking later this autumn, we have undertaken an exclusive online poll with 1,450 members of the public.  

We asked these potential service users: ‘Imagine you are visiting your GP surgery in ten years’ time. Which of the following, if any, do you expect to be featured in this GP building of the future?’  The following visual illustrates the main elements that will be expected in such a property.

GP images

Image source*

From a prompted list of nearly 20 design factors, the most popular aspects selected by patients are weekend access (58%), digital reception areas (50%), and wi-fi connections for patients (42%).  Around one-third of users also expect to see other health services onsite (31%), 24 hour a day appointment slots (33%) and the ability to consult with specialists through a web or video link (29%( in the future. 

The findings above are just a snapshot of a much fuller list of responses about the primary care building of the future.  Our results also indicate that expectations around building design vary somewhat for different age groups.  If you are currently considering how you might integrate patient’s views into building and service design, then get in touch with Dave Ruston at Research by Design to discuss these insights further.  

Dave Ruston, Associate Director

*All images sourced from Noun Porject: Calendar – created by Atelier Iceberg,  Clock – created by Dmitry Baranovskly, Tablet - created by Luis Prado,  Wifi – created by iconoci from Noun Project

This entry was posted in Health & social care, Social , tagged patient engagement, patient experience, primary care, building design, Doctor, GP and posted on August 21, 2015


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