RIBA Client Advisor, Whitby Hospital

Client: Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Services: RIBA Client Advisor, Interior Design and Landscape Design

Year: 2021
Status: Complete
Project Type: Refurbishment
Project Value: £8m

ACA was RIBA Client Advisor on behalf of Humber Teaching NHS FT for the refurbishment of Whitby Hospital.

ACA was RIBA Client Advisor on behalf of Humber Teaching NHS FT for the refurbishment of Whitby Hospital.  Moreover, ACA added value with a focus on dementia friendly design principles.

The Brief

Fundamentally, a new health and social care hub will provide primary, secondary and community care services.  This will be for outpatient and inpatient services in Whitby.

RIBA Client Advisor

Indeed Alex Caruso has over 20 years’ experience designing in the health and social care sector.  In addition, he studied at Sterling University Dementia Services Development Centre.  Earlier in 2021, RIBA appointed Alex as a RIBA Client Advisor, thanks to his wealth of expert knowledge.

Therefore, ACA understands the needs of people with dementia within the internal and external environment. In fact, evidence-based research shows that people with dementia often struggle to make sense of their environment.  As a result they can feel high levels of stress. Hence, ACA’s design team has ensured that Whitby Hospital’s environment will fully support patients with dementia.

Design Solution

Firstly, one of the most important design elements within a hospital environment is wayfinding. Therefore, ACA selected a helpful colour scheme with clear signage for a smooth movement throughout the building.

Secondly, many hospital environments are designed in a traditional, clinical way.  This may increase stress levels and create an uncomfortable atmosphere. Hence, we have selected furniture which creates a more domestic feel to put people at ease.

Thirdly, visually impaired people have difficulty perceiving some or all colours. However, many people with a visual impairment can perceive a contrast.  So, ACA carefully selected furniture fabric colours to achieve Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) between floors and walls to avoid confusion.

Exterior Garden

Indeed designing internal environments for people with dementia is important.   However it is equally important to ensure that the design of external areas is dementia-friendly.

Finally, for a consultation to assess your environment with recommendations for dementia-friendly development improvements, please get in touch!

“We appointed ACA on this type of project for their recognised specialism and expert knowledge in design for dementia. Also, we knew the team would deliver!”

Dan Laughton – Projects and Strategic Development Manager, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

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