Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Cancer care / Facilities design

European Healthcare Design 2017

Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital: the patient voice – is the design better because of it?

By Catherine Zeliotis, Alastair Gourlay, Dr Majid Kazmi and Diana Crawshaw 26 Jul 2017 0

The Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital is a £160 million development at Guy’s Hospital in southeast London. The trust held a RIBA design competition for a contractor-led design team to design and construct an ambulatory cancer centre for provision of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, outpatients, diagnostics and therapeutic support in 2010.


Patients have been instrumental in the design of the facility, through an active patient reference group of more than 30 members. Patients were involved in the selection of the team, the design user groups, furniture, and arts commissions. The chair of the Patient Reference Group sat on the programme board as part of the project’s governance structure.

The question posed in this set of presentations is whether the design is better as a result of this patient involvement. When the centre opened in September 2016, the trust sought patient views through questionnaires, before undertaking focus groups with patients early this year to review the design development and the facility in use. The output of these focus groups will form part of presentation 1.

Presentation 1: Patient engagement and involvement

  • Process – how and why
  • Briefing
  • Key inputs and decisions taken throughout the design 
  • Feedback from patients on the use of the building
  • Outputs from the focus groups

Presentation 2: Technology, design and architecture

  • Integration of the latest high technology and patient-centred design – how cancer centre design needs to balance technical aspects with patient-centred design and support multidisciplinary care
  • How patients worked with the design team – role of patient groups from inception of the design process through to detailed workshops
  • Impact of patients’ views on the design itself – patient voices underpinned the village concept, the science of treatment and art of care zoning, as well as access to daylight and nature

Presentation 3: Cancer treatment and service transformation

  • Cancer treatment
  • How patient pathways have been managed and transformed
  • Information technology as an enabler to service redesign