Clinical Seminars

11:00 - 11:30

Design for Health and Well-being – Design Suggestions For Interior Design in Compulsory Care Facilities

We will present research on the significance of the physical environment for health and well-being in various closed settings such as forensic psychiatry, youth homes (SiS), and prisons.
Moreover, we will propose design suggestions that may have the potential to improve people’s wellbeing and health in these settings.

The healthcare environment serves as an active agent in the rehabilitation and habilitation of patients in psychiatric closed care. The design of the physical environment in psychiatric settings has been compared to the need for high-tech equipment in somatic healthcare. The physical environment itself becomes both a tool and support for patients and staff, primarily through its stress-reducing function, as highlighted by the field of Evidence Based Design (EBD). Our research shows that the environment can support the therapeutic alliance between patient/client and staff, especially by conveying a sense of trust, security, and autonomy. It is also reasonable to assume that the environment itself can reinforce or "redirect" and change the identity we carry.

The staff constitutes the essence of the care provided, and therefore, their need for a safe and secure working environment should be an integral part of the environment's design. Only then can the conditions for good care and interpersonal encounters be established.

In any closed facility the feeling of confinement is at the forefront, accompanied by many losses. The question is whether the environment can compensate for these losses, or at least not exacerbate them. Despite the limited living conditions within institutional care, there are ample opportunities through environmental design to promote well-being. We see that physical and mental health could be positively influenced by designs that encourage e.g. physical movement both indoors and outdoors, a better designed sleep environment, and not least a sense of belonging.



Medium-secure Spaces That Promote a Meaningful Day for Patients: Sycamore at Northgate Hospital


11:30 - 12:00

Patient and Staff Lived Experience of Social Spaces


  • Donna Ciarlo Doctoral Student - London Southbank University
14:30 - 15:00

A Sheltered Retreat for the Specialist Treatment of Eating Disorders: Kimmeridge Court


11:00 - 11:30

Collaboration and Co-Production – Impact on Design at RIS:ES Bexhill

Trust: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Architects & Interior Designers: Gilling Dod
PSCP: Kier

The design journey for RIS:ES has been one of co-production and collaboration which has been embraced by all stakeholders. The building brings together a variety of healthcare specialisms, including working age adult and older adult inpatient wards, with medical education and neuromodulation departments.

RIS:ES is to replace the existing Department of Psychiatry facilities in Eastbourne which has dormitory accommodation, restricted access to garden spaces, and is set in the clinical setting of Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Experts by experience have been at the core of the RIS:ES story, sharing their expertise and insights every step of the way with positivity and care. Their input has informed all aspects of the building design from the little details such as having tables with rounded corner in meeting rooms, to the big picture principles around room adjacencies and garden spaces.

The co-production approach has developed an innovated X-shaped ward typology which provides two gardens spaces per ward, en-suite bedrooms clustered into 3 groups of 6, single sided bedroom corridors, and connectivity to adjacent wards.

Trauma-informed, dementia-friendly, and neurodiversity-friendly design principles have been implemented and tested with trust specialists in those fields.

Co-production with staff has helped implement a diverse provision for staff welfare with localised staff rest room, lockers, changing rooms, and showers to each department.

Applying lessons learned also informed design, not least in the bedrooms. The P22 repeatable room bed position most preferred by service users was adopted. Half bay windows were added to provide a view out to landscaped grounds directly from the bed position.

This co-production approach has extended into the construction phase, with the PSCP Kier turning the collaborative working into the reality of a physical building.

RIS:ES is due to open in 2025.


  • Ed Dwight Senior Project Manager - Kier Construction Southern
  • Richard Barton Expert by Experience - Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paula Kirkland Programme Director, Redesigning Inpatients Services in East Sussex (RIS:ES) - Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Robin Graham Gilling Dod Architects
11:30 - 12:00

A Service User’s Journey to Redesigning Mental Health Assessment Spaces in the Emergency Department


  • William PC Wang Architect - Llewelyn Davies & Design in Mental Health Network
14:30 - 15:00

A Whole New Way – Designing the New Cambridge Children’s Hospital