With the traditional health practice often being seen as cold and clinical, we worked closely with Virgin Care Private to challenge this convention and create their first ever Health and Wellbeing Clinic - a space which breaks down the traditional typologies of space and puts people and their wellbeing at the heart of the whole experience.
“Our challenge was to create a space that would have a tangibly positive impact on the people who use it”, says Jess Lonsdale, Managing Director of Virgin Care Private. “Its whole purpose is to help people live life better, reach their goals and feel they can take on whatever the day demands of them,” she says.
At Spacelab everything we do is grounded in the research and analysis we undertake to understand the needs of the people who will use the spaces that we design. And so, alongside Jess and her team, we worked closely with feedback from both patients and clinicians.
“Many patients said going to see their GP often made them feel worse, so by contrast we wanted to create a space that would lift people; your shoulders should relax the moment you set foot through the door,” says Jess.
That was achieved, in part, by doing away with some of the trappings of a traditional healthcare environment. “We know from our research that patients tend to find doctors practices cold, clinical and unapproachable, so we designed informal consultation rooms,” says Kim Williams, an Interior Designer at Spacelab. “We introduced comfortable chairs, soft fabrics and more of a lounge set-up, instead of patient and doctor facing one another formally with a desk between them.”
It’s a wellbeing environment that has inclusivity at its heart; a space that people want to hang out in rather than hurry out of. Think upmarket coffee machines located in the client lounge, referred to as the ‘Feel Good Space’, and thoughtfully-arranged spaces to work in for convenience between appointments.
The impact of the subliminal on mental health shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to creating spaces that promote wellbeing, adds Dr Vikki Barnes, Clinical Psychologist and Lead for Positive Psychology at Virgin Care Private.
“Everything from the colours and messaging used throughout the interior design, to the way a space is made comfortable has an impact on how people feel when they’re in it,” says Vikki. To help create a warm and welcoming environment we developed Inspirational quotes and graphics throughout the space, whilst natural materials contribute towards a calm and healthy environment.
“The whole remit of Virgin Care Private is about impacting people in a positive way, not just getting rid of a sickness, and that means creating an inclusive, open mindset and culture in your organisation, where people feel able to access the care and support they need when they need it,” says Vikki.
If you would like more information on the clinic and the services provided please give us a call on
0300 247 0121 or click here.