40 Years of Healthcare from P+HS Architects

Healthcare Reflection 40 Years 2

40 Years of Healthcare from P+HS Architects

As our 40th year celebrations continue and we look to the future, we are also taking time to look back at the legacy of our work over the last four decades. This week it's the turn of of our Healthcare Leads: James Gordon, Martin Anderson, Sharon Cook, and Tom Potter to reflect on the practice's achievements in the healthcare sector.


It doesn’t feel like it now, but P+HS Architects didn’t always work on healthcare architecture. The early days of the Practice were devoted to residential design but, after winning the chance to design a new cardiac theatre we never looked back. The industry and the sector have both changed dramatically in the years since, but P+HS have been on the coal face of healthcare design for (almost) 40 years.

Acute Care

Since first breaking into healthcare design, P+HS have gone from strength to strength, developing strong relationships with Trusts across the country where our informed approach has been applied to schemes of all shape and size, totalling over £2bn worth of healthcare investment in the NHS.

Our flexible approach has given us a broad range of experience across almost every clinical speciality, taking in a range of projects from humble refurbishments up to site-wide masterplanning and every notch on the scale in between. Our understanding of the NHS helps us manage the differing needs of Capital, Estates, FM, Clinical and Patient stakeholders, whatever the scheme parameters.

We’ve developed specialist knowledge in many niche areas, such as the development of surgical design through the advent of Laminar Flow, Hybrid, Barn and now Robotic Theatres. We’ve delivered complex diagnostics installations in every shape and size room available, alongside more visible, land-mark schemes like The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Northallerton.

As the needs of the NHS have changed year by year, we’ve been ready to deliver whatever our clients need.

Primary Care

In January 2000, we began design work on Mowbray House Surgery in Northallerton. This was the first Primary Care scheme undertaken by the Practice and the design established a model which has been iterated and developed over subsequent schemes. Fast forward to the present, and many of the 50+ Primary Care projects completed by the Practice have been spiritual successors to that influential progenitor.

But as the model of Primary Care has evolved, so have the buildings we design to facilitate patient care. Shifts towards higher patient lists, multi-disciplinary care and flexible rooms have led to the development of larger, more sustainable buildings accommodating multiple co-located Practices which are capable of flexing with the clinical needs of the patient population.

As carbon impact has gradually risen higher up our clients’ agenda, P+HS have repeatedly explored ways to support their drive towards sustainability; we designed the UK’s first BREEAM Outstanding Primary Care Centre in Houghton le Spring, and helped Portakabin deliver the UK’s first Passivhaus-certified surgery.

Mental Health

Dedicated Mental Health facilities are an essential part of our national care and through 100+ schemes P+HS have a deep understanding of the sector’s needs. We have a long-standing presence on the board of the Design in Mental Health Network and schemes such as Kingfisher Court in Hertfordshire show how that expertise can translate into award-winning, therapeutic design.

Private Healthcare

Running in parallel with the NHS are various private healthcare providers. Whilst superficially similar, we have demonstrated an understanding of the subtle differences between private and public sector care. We had the chance to manifest a lot of our knowledge in the stunning Nuffield Cambridge Hospital we designed and continue to work with private healthcare providers to develop and adapt their estates to meet the patient demand.

Looking Forward

We’re incredibly proud of being named Healthcare Architect of the Year for the last 4 years, which is testament to the incredible staff on our team and the support of our clients. But whilst this short retrospective allows us to remember some of the projects that have led us here, our passion is for the projects yet to come. With continued growth and the opening of a new office in Manchester, our team are hungry to support our ambitious clients delivering the next wave of healthcare design, wherever that takes us.

PHS Architects Healthcare 40 Years