The Bartlett Real Estate Institute


Understanding the Needs and Options for Healthcare Facilities to Support their Staff

11 April 2019, 10:30 am–4:30 pm

two medical professional services staff sit at a desk in an office and talk

Staff is a crucial resource for the delivery of healthcare services provided by the NHS and others. This course will consider the needs of these staff members in terms of facilities provided by their employers.

Event Information

Open to





Bandana Rehncy
020 3108 8162


The Bartlett Real Estate Institute
UCL Here East
8-9 East Bay Lane, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
E15 2GW


The value of staff for the sustainability and growth of businesses starts to be addressed by the leaders and thinkers of corporate world. Compared to earlier paradigms prioritizing the needs of stakeholders or clients, this new thinking supports that employees should come first.

Healthcare services lags adopting new trends but shortly healthcare providers will need to revisit their position and support their service backbone – their staff. Patient-focused care has been advocated as the main principle of healthcare provision for at least two decades now.

However, can we achieve true benefits for our patients with depleted staff? With staff burnout and employee retention becoming major issues, how well are healthcare premises designed and equipped for the needs of their employees? What are the key spatial issues to consider if we want to make the best of our human capital? These are questions that have not been phrased yet in the health sector but solutions will be required rapidly. 

The course is run by the Bartlett Real Estate Institute UCL.

Course content/structure of the day

10.00am – 10.30am: Opening, coffee and networking

10.30am – 11.00am: Introduction by Dr Evangelia Chrysikou (Lecturer - Program Director MSc Healthcare Facilities, the Bartlett Real Estate Institute UCL)

11.00pm – 11.45am: ‘Burn-Out, Stress, and Professional Grief: Designing better healthcare spaces for dealing with death and dying’ by Sergio Silverio (Honorary Research Fellow, EGA Institute for Women's Health, University College London)

11.45am – 12.30pm: ‘Wellbeing in health staff: multiple factors, multiple solutions’ by Dr Danielle Lamb (Programme Manager AD-CARE, Division of Psychiatry, UCL)

12.30pm – 13.30pm: Lunch break and networking

13.30pm – 14.15pm: ‘Retaining Staff in Healthcare Organisations’, by Susan Elsworth (HR & Training Manager, Staff2000)

14.15pm – 15.15pm: ‘Patient-centred care or Staff-enabled care? Demystifying a False Dichotomy in Hospital Design’ by Dr. Isaiah Durosaiye (Research Associate, School of Architecture, the University of Sheffield)

15.15pm – 15.30pm: Break

15.30pm – 16.30pm: Interactive workshop

16.30pm – 16.45pm: Key messages – Closure

Main presentations


One of the pictures associated with asylums is staff sitting passive in the so-called “fish-bowl” observing patients wandering aimlessly in long corridors. The response to this was considered structures were patients became the centre and the hospital moved around them. Yet, ever-increasing demand for healthcare services combined with cost-cuts have put incredible strain in the entire system including human resources. Yet, is it ok to look after the ones who care for us before us? Aviation, an industry associated with a strong culture of safety and monitoring of error says yes. This leads to the second most important question: how? A brief introduction will set the tone of the day by give a short summary of what is to follow and setting some key points that will be explored further in the presentations and the interactive sessions that follow.

Burn-Out, Stress, and Professional Grief: Designing better healthcare spaces for dealing with death and dying

This talk will build on a growing body of literature concerning stress, burn-out, and professional grief in healthcare settings.  Drawing primarily on two studies undertaken recently to illustrate the idea that stress, burn-out, and grief are tangible and often dismissed factors of a healthcare professionals’ life at work, the session will discuss how we can better facilitate healthcare staff who need space to grieve and breathe in times of severe emotional and psychological distress.

The first of these studies, was an interview study with palliative care professionals about their experiences neonatal palliative care scenarios. Published in mid-2018 the results have highlighted the need for appropriate time and space in order to liaise with families, friends, and carers about the advanced care planning required for infants and children at the end stages of their hospital, hospice, or home care.

The second of these studies, a review of midwifery grief, secondary traumatic stress, and professional attrition literature highlights the importance of acknowledging the magnitude of psychological distress some healthcare professionals can experience when faced with traumatic patient situations and the potential loss of a patient, or in the case of Midwives, a minimum of two patients.  The talk will draw all this information together to stimulate thinking and discussion around how we best plan healthcare spaces to allow for healthcare professionals to better cope with death and dying.

Wellbeing in health staff: multiple factors, multiple solutions

This presentation will cover the importance and impact of wellbeing at work (focusing on healthcare settings), a brief review of models of stress, and a discussion of recent evidence in this area, including studies that have considered the physical environment as a predictor of wellbeing.

Retaining Staff in Healthcare Organisations

Retaining staff is a major challenge for all healthcare organisations, and we look forward very much to discussing this and how the planning of healthcare facilities can help with this challenge. 

For all employers balancing the needs of both clients and staff and keeping everyone happy is a major issue. Budgets are being slashed nationwide which means, home owners are left with little room to manoeuvre with budgets. For many new care home providers staff are of vital importance, but when planning a new home, especially the type that DLS has, which tend to be refurbishing older properties, staffing facilities are often an afterthought. The main concern is how many clients can be comfortably accommodated. But yet without the right calibre of staff the clients won’t be happy. A further concern in terms of burnout is that because the pay rate for unregistered healthcare professionals tends to low, they do more hours to make up for this. Some staff doing maybe 50 to 60 hours which, can again lead to burnout, because of a poor work/life balance. Working in challenging healthcare facilities means when staff do take a break they want to be away from the work environment, but smaller employers don’t always have facilities to accommodate this. Thus staff will sometimes have lunch with the clients, so really end up taking no downtime at all. So their overall wellbeing is affected adversely. How can smaller employers make changes to their facilities to look after staff welfare and thus retention more effectively?? This is a key question with Brexit looming and the potential that the amount of potential new recruits also may be reduced.

Patient-centred care or Staff-enabled care? Demystifying a False Dichotomy in Hospital Design

Headline statement

Healthcare facilities are designed to support patient healing in a safe and dignified environment. Yet, amid an increasing pressure to reduce the length of time patients spend in hospitals, evidence suggests that, on its own, there are limitations to what can be achieved by a resource-management driven approach to patient care.

Course overview

We know that nurses play a pivotal role in the coordination of treatment activities aimed at supporting patient healing. We also know that patients often attribute greater significance to the nature of an ‘interaction’, over the nursing ‘tasks’ accompanied by such an interaction. However, in the performance evaluation of healthcare facilities, focus is often on how the physical environment supports either patients or the nursing staff, independent of each other.

This one-day course will explore the: 

spatial contexts of patient-nurse interaction impact of design on patients 


This course would be suited to a variety of professionals and students with an interest in healthcare environments and of multiple backgrounds: architects, engineers, facility managers, healthcare planners, healthcare professionals, healthcare managers with an interest in healthcare buildings. Professionals of the care home sector will also find the course interesting as well as people working for capital planning and facilities and estates of the NHS.

  • impact of design on staff

Who is this course for?

The course is for a variety of professionals and students with an interest in healthcare environments and of multiple backgrounds: architects, engineers, facility managers, healthcare planners, healthcare professionals, healthcare managers with an interest on healthcare buildings. Professionals of the care home sector might also find the course interesting as well as people working for capital planning and facilities and estates of the NHS.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this one-day short course, you will:

  • acquire a broader understanding of  the importance of staff-supportive design for healthcare
  • how staff-supportive design will be expected to influence healthcare delivery
  • get a glimpse of the potential of designing to support staff but also the challenges /opportunities for healthcare facility designers
  • have an opportunity to interact with professionals and academics from multiple-disciplines and gain a multiple perspective on the subject
  • have a hands-on experience on planning and designing staff-focused spatial interventions.

Soft outcome: 

  • Increase understanding on working across sectors and collaborating with different disciplines.

As a short course student you won't be formally assessed, but you're expected to fully participate in group work. You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completion of the course. 

Course team

Dr Evangelia Chrysikou DiplArch, MA MARU, PhD – course leader

Evangelia is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Bartlett Real Estate Institute, UCL in London, Program Director of the MSc Healthcare Facilities and medical architect. She specializes in healthcare facilities, holding a rare PhD on mental health facilities from UCL.  A former Marie Curie H2020 Fellow, she has been actively involved in policymaking, being Coordinator on D4 Action Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) of the European Commission (EC) and consulted, on behalf of the EC, the Hellenic Ministry of Health and the Centre of European Constitutional Law on legislation regarding mental health facilities.  

Her work on therapeutic environments has received prestigious international awards (Singapore 2009, Kuala Lumpur 2012, Brisbane 2013, Birmingham 2014, London 2014, Vienna 2017). Her research on mental health, ageing, accessibility and mental health, autism, social inclusion, healthcare, welfare and wellness facilities, medical architecture, medical tourism planning spans in several countries of the world (UK, France, Belgium, Greece, Middle East, Japan, New Zealand etc.).

Currently, she is the PI at a Butterfield award of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and a CoI at a Marsden Fund from the Royal Society of New Zealand.  Evangelia authored the books ‘Architecture for Psychiatric Environments and Therapeutic Spaces’ & ‘The Social Invisibility of Mental Health Facilities’ and is a healthcare architecture editor, reviewer, active member of several professional and scientific associations and a TED-MED speaker. She is also Member of the Board at the Scholar’s Association Onassis Foundation.

Dr Isaiah Durosaiye, PhD

Isaiah is a researcher in ageing and the built environment at University of Sheffield. His research is primarily concerned with inclusive and sustainable design of the built environment, such as how to ensure the physical environment supports people as they age. Isaiah researches health environment design and performance evaluation, with a focus on how older workforce interact with their work environment in the healthcare sector. His research ethos is underpinned by the person-environment fit milieu, a theoretical framework that proposes a symbiotic relationship between human being and the natural and built environment. Isaiah aims to promote longer working lives over the life course, by ensuring physical and perceived barriers are eliminated through a measured adaptation of the built environment. He has developed frameworks and tools to undertake building performance evaluation for older end users, such as older nurses, in the National Health Service.

Dr Danielle Lamb MA, PhD

Danielle began her academic career with a BA and MA (University of Leeds) in Philosophy (focusing on medical ethics and philosophy of mind), before moving into Psychology via an MSc (University of Glasgow) and PhD (UCL).  Her research focuses on wellbeing in mental health staff, particularly those working in acute care settings such as inpatient wards, crisis teams, and acute day units.  She has investigated the relationships between wellbeing (e.g. burnout, work engagement, satisfaction) and psychological constructs such as personality and psychological flexibility.  Danielle currently runs a large NIHR-funded study (AD-CARE) comparing outcomes for people using acute day units with those using crisis teams.  She formerly ran a previous NIHR-funded study (CORE) consisting of two cluster-randomised trials, one testing a peer support intervention for people leaving crisis team care, and one testing a service improvement intervention.

Sergio A. Silverio

Sergio begun his academic career at the University of Liverpool, read for an Integrated Master of Psychological Sciences, specialising in Clinical and Health Psychology.  He subsequently went onto work for various academic departments, most notably as a Research Assistant in Qualitative Methods at the University College London Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health [UCL EGA IfWH].  Whilst there, he led the qualitative component of the NIHR-funded VESPA study which investigated women’s experiences of Early Pregnancy Assessment Units.  He subsequently commenced a Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology MSc at Brunel University London, whilst briefly providing qualitative expertise to a large Home Office funded project, at the UCL Jill Dando Institute.  His next substantial academic appointment saw him leave UCL for the Department of Women & Children’s Health at King’s College London.  

Sergio holds Honorary Research Fellowships at the UCL EGA IfWH and the University of Liverpool’s Department of Psychological Sciences, as part of his ongoing endeavour to collaborate and provide consultancy on an international scale.  With these colleagues and others, Sergio successfully publishes in academic journals on topics of bereavement and loss and ‘normal, but non-normative’ lifecourses, with his early work attracting critical acclaim from his learned academy: The British Psychological Society.  Sergio maintains a primary research interest in women’s mental health, using qualitative methodologies and a female psychology lens to examine psychological distress over lifecourse transitions. His most recent venture has been a series of invited book chapters on pregnancy and motherhood, gendered health, and ageing femininities.

Susan Elsworth

Susan has worked for Staff2000, a healthcare recruitment agency, for 10 years. Moreover, for the last 5 years she has been working for Developing Lives Services, a local company currently having two residential homes for young adults with learning disabilities. Within both companies she works as the HR and Training Manager, and she is involved in both the recruitment and retention of staff. 

Contact information

Name: Bandana Rehncy
Email: brei.healthcarefacilities@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 3108 8162




Students: £100