Care UK is delivering a brand new model of care for general practice called Practice Plus. Practice Plus is a full NHS primary care offering that supports the delivery of inclusive and comprehensive general practice services using new technologies and virtual models of care, alongside traditional delivery in primary care settings.
Care UK was in need of an experienced refurbishment company to create the first ‘Practice Plus’ GP surgery in Brighton. This entailed creating a new design concept that reflected the brand identity and provided a ‘health spa’ environment for patients. Furthermore, the design needed to be disability-friendly and in line with stringent hygiene regulations.
Following a successful tender process, our design team set to transforming an existing purpose built GP surgery into a Practice Plus surgery. This entailed designing a number of new spaces, including a reception/entrance, waiting area, washroom, lobby, consultation room and three GP practices.
Care UK Entrance Design - 3D Visual to Reality
Given that the entrance was situated in a well-known high street shop, the design had to be consistent with its branding. In order to achieve this, our Brighton interior designers started by creating a 3D visual for the shop’s consideration. After several modifications, all parties agreed on a design that incorporated the shop’s font and colour scheme.
Additionally, our designers proposed that new glass manifestation be printed on the door to give patients more privacy. This comprised of the Practice Plus logo and a unique pattern arrangement for a striking entrance aesthetic.
Care UK Reception Design - 3D Visual to Reality
In the reception area, our designers introduced a number of features to ensure it was modern, practical and consistent with the Practice Plus branding. The design included a company wall logo, a purple and white colour scheme, and patient check in screens to alleviate pressure on staff during busy periods.
To comply with health and safety regulations, our designers also introduced a sanitiser dispenser and water machine. To remind people of the dispenser’s importance, it was hung in front of a highly visible green backdrop.
For the patient waiting area design, it was important that there was enough furniture to accommodate patients on busy days. Despite the space being relatively small, our designers created a suitable configuration by introducing rows of small modular chairs. Furthermore, they introduced several individual arm chairs so that less mobile patients could lift themselves up.
It was also vital that our designers used a non-absorbent, wipeable chair material in case of sickness and blood spillages. Therefore, they proposed using a chemical resistant faux leather material to ensure optimum hygiene.
Other key features of the waiting area included an information screen surrounded by the ‘P’ Practice Plus logo, new LED lighting, leaflet holders, a play area for children and coffee tables. These elements, in addition to the intelligently selected furniture, make for a modern, inviting and practical waiting area.
For the lobby area design, our Brighton interior designers used their ingenuity to make the space as patient-friendly as possible. For example, they researched the best colour for visually impaired patients to identify – bold yellow – and used this for the door numbers. The numbers were also printed in a large font as opposed to the small signs you see in traditional practices, ensuring the rooms are easily identifiable once you enter the lobby from reception.
The surgeries can also be recognised by their purple frames and green doors, making them identifiable as areas for patient access. Conversely, the ‘staff’ and ‘utility’ rooms are painted with a grey frame and sport a blue font, highlighting that they are for staff access only.
Another part of the client remit was to reduce noise pollution in the lobby to enhance the patients’ experience. With this in mind, our designers introduced panels with sound absorbing properties, thus preventing noise bouncing from wall to wall.
With a remit to create a ‘health spa’ experience for patients, our designers proposed introducing calming Brighton-themed feature walls in all four of the GP practices. These would not only add aesthetic interest to the practices but give patients something to look at while being examined.
Another key element of the ‘health spa’ design are the LED sky ceiling tiles in one of the practices. In addition to their soothing visual impact, they give extra light to the previously dark, windowless room.
Furthermore, our designers applied a wood laminate on the inside of the door ensure the rooms were bright and warming. Combined with the rooms other colours – yellow splashback, grey chairs and blue curtains – they were able to create an aesthetic that was both inviting and in keeping with the Practice Plus brand identity.
For the consultation room, our designers proposed an understated yet effective design. For example, they introduced a lockable roller shutter storage unit to ensure no one could steal sensitive data or medication. Additionally, they proposed a slimline desk and individual chair so the space wasn’t cramped for the GP and patients.
Finally, our design team transformed the existing toilet by introducing the company brand colours and implementing new features for practicality. These new features included grab rails for disabled users, sanitary ware and IPS panelling to conceal the plumbing.
With the help of Rap Interiors, Care UK now has a state of the art flagship GP surgery that will work as a blueprint for future projects. By thinking intelligently about the design scheme, our designers were able to create a modern space that fulfils the ‘health spa’ aesthetic remit, adheres to health and safety regulations and provides excellent usability for patients.
The works at Care UK will make a big difference to the Brighton community and beyond, making this one of our most fulfilling projects to date. It was a pleasure working with the Care UK team on this project and we are proud of the fact they are using the design as a blueprint for other Practice Plus facilities.
Scott Howard Senior Interior Designer, Rap Interiors
If the Care UK case study has inspired you to refurbish your space, then Rap Interiors can help. With over 30 years of experience, Rap is one of the leading refurbishment companies in the UK.
Working from offices in London, Brighton, Croydon and Maidstone, the Rap team delivers cutting edge refurbs that give facilities a new lease of life. To arrange your free design consultation, call us on 0333 600 1234 or email email@example.com
A Word with Anita Uti, Care UK Communications and Engagement Manager
What was your remit for the design?
“The main thing we were looking for was a provider that could interpret a brand design from a creative point of view and manage the application. When I went out to speak to Rap, it was a case of, ‘we’ve got a brand’; how does that actually come into play’? So that was what we were looking for: a provider that could successfully interpret the main elements of planning.
“We had great expectations of what could be delivered. As you know Practice Plus is one of the new services for Care UK, which is already a strong brand in itself. Looking at the family brand in itself we had an idea of how we wanted it to look, but at the same time we were not afraid to take risks in terms of what that application could look like.”
Have the staff reacted well to it?
“Everyone is really pleased, from the staff on ground to the chief exec. We also think from a branding perspective it brings something new to the company; it’s a fresh way to engage in the healthcare market. In a way we’ve not been afraid to take risks with the market.
“We are all pleasantly surprised to be honest, because the old consultation rooms were very dated. But Rap understood how each of the elements came into play to reflect the brand.”
What is your favourite aspect?
“I definitely think it’s the way the colours have been used. I also like the manifestation on the doors.”
Has Rap fulfilled your expectations?
“Absolutely – they definitely have. I have no doubt about that!”
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