Designing the Hospital of the Future – Responding to the Wolfson Economics Prize 2021

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  •  Tuesday, 23 March, 2021
     15:00 - 18:00

Designing the Hospital of the Future was a half-day conference which explored the themes of this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize with panel discussions from members of the government’s hospital building programme, front-line clinicians, patient advocates and experts in the built environment.


Tuesday 23rd March, 15:00 – 18:00

15.00 – 15.15

The Great Rebalancing:


The Wolfson Economics Prize 2021, recently launched in partnership with Policy Exchange, seeks to stimulate an international debate about planning and design of hospitals in the decades ahead, with £250,000 on offer for the winning entry.


  • Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise – Chief Executive, Next plc and Founder, Wolfson Economics Prize
  • Rt Hon Prof Lord Ajay Kakkar – Chair of Judges, Wolfson Economics Prize 2021; Crossbench Life Peer, House of Lords and Professor of Surgery, University College London

The conference sessions were Chaired by Baroness Cavendish of Little Venice – Author of Extra Time: Ten Lessons For An Ageing World, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School and former Director, Number 10 Policy Unit

15.15 – 15.45

The Biggest Hospital Building Programme in a Generation?


The UK Government has pledged to undertake the biggest hospital building programme in a generation – constructing 40 new hospitals (with a competition for a further eight) all to be delivered by 2030. Audiences heard from two of the leading figures involved in the programme from the NHS and the Government as they discuss current considerations and challenges for the estate in the years ahead.


  • Natalie Forrest – Senior Responsible Officer, New Hospital Programme and former CEO, Chase Farm Hospital
  • Craig McWilliam – Programme Director, New Hospital Programme; Capacity Delivery Director, NHS England & Improvement
16.00 – 16.30

Who Is the Hospital For? Designing Hospitals for Patients, Practitioners and the Public


Alongside their core clinical purpose, hospitals perform a myriad of function as a centres of employment, research and the local community. Featuring patient representatives and leading clinicians, this panel will explore the considerations that staff, patients and the public at large would like to see reflected in the design of new hospitals.


  • Bami Adenipekun – Charity Ambassador, Maggie’s; Director, Inspired to Soar
  • Dr John Dean – Clinical Director for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Royal College of Physicians
  • Imelda Redmond CBE – National Director, Healthwatch
16.40 – 16.55

Should Hospitals Be Beautiful?


The spotlight talk asked what we can learn from hospital building in the past, exploring the ways in which previous generations in the UK and internationally have imagined, planned and adapted healthcare facilities, reflecting both the medical and stylistic considerations of the age.


  • Professor Richard Cork – Art Critic, Historian, Broadcaster and the author of The Healing Presence of Art: A History of Western Art in Hospitals

17.00 – 18.00

“Ask the Judges”


An opportunity for audience members to put questions to the Judging Panel for this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize, which brings together a group of experts representing different elements of hospital planning and design. Questions were submitted in advance of the conference and live questions were also taken by the judges from registered audience members.


  • Rt Hon Prof Lord Ajay Kakkar – Chair of Judges, Wolfson Economics Prize 2021; Crossbench Life Peer, House of Lords and Professor of Surgery, University College London
  • Dr Brian Donley – Chief Executive, Cleveland Clinic London
  • Dame Elaine Inglesby-Burke – Non-Executive Director, NICE and former Chief Nurse, Northern Care Alliance
  • Dame Laura Lee – Chief Executive, Maggie’s
  • Robert A.M. Stern – Founding Partner, Robert A.M. Stern Architects and former Dean, Yale School of Architecture
  • Nigel Wilson – Chief Executive, Legal and General

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