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For over 30 years, our dedicated healthcare teams have delivered design expertise to both public and private health providers.


Healthcare facilities should be carefully considered healing environments, not simply machines for treatment delivery - at Atkins we are passionate about design and deliver excellence in all we do.

We have a proven track record of innovating, changing and adapting for new models of healthcare regardless of location or procurement method.

Delivering locally

Our global portfolio of projects for both public and private sector clients demonstrates our ability to integrate culture and environment with knowledge of local legislation and technical standards.


Our masterplans provide a vision, as well as a strategic decision-making tool. Our experience includes large acute hospital developments, both greenfield and on existing complex city sites. We also develop schemes for modern mental health campuses and community facilities.

By planning how a site or area will be developed, our masterplans encompass how costs, phasing and timing of the development will be completed.

Healing Environments

We recognise the importance of the emotional and aesthetic aspects of healthcare rather than simply the functionality by creating healing environments. These include:

  • Visual connections to the natural environment, especially sunlight
  • Reduction of stress, for example, comfortable and calming waiting areas
  • The inclusion of art and plants, proven to contribute to a therapeutic environment

Refurbishment and Remodelling

Given funding pressures, many of our clients have benefitted from our capability in refurbishment. Often this is in urban, century old, congested hospital sites. Due to our phased and well managed programmes, existing facilities can continue to operate without disruption.



With healthcare such a challenging sector - advancing medical technology, high cost of construction, variety and number of stakeholders - it is our experience which allows us to bring valuable market knowledge to all elements of the sector.

Multidiscipline design

The goal of our multidiscipline design teams is to provide uplifting and comfortable environments which promote recovery. But which also recognise the practical multi-functional demands of healthcare facilities.

Healthcare planning

Our healthcare planners come from health service backgrounds. This enables us to provide expert solutions and liaise knowledgeably with clinicians, managers and designers alike. In turn this promotes healthcare buildings which:

  • Have a high functional quality
  • Efficiently serve patients and staff
  • Provide the flexibility to accommodate advancing technology
  • Meet strict cost and quality parameters

Healthcare engineering

With over 20 years' experience our Authorising Engineers for Medical Gas Pipeline Systems and High Voltage systems provide clients with expert advice concerning safe systems of work for effective system management.

Technical Advisory Services

We work as technical advisors within our client’s team to support their development aspirations, provide technical documentation and analysis to permit successful appointment of their contracting partner.

Landscape Design

We can create distinctive and therapeutic landscape solutions which deliver measureable patient and wider user benefits. Our designs are mindful of the needs of patients, staff and visitors and we develop our solutions alongside users and Facility Management operators of our schemes.


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Richard Piggin
19 May 2017

The WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor malware has affected 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, France, and Japan. Several variants have already been reported, all presently targeting Windows-based operating systems, including embedded versions. Further variations, which could target other operating systems such as Linux, are anticipated. Early indications suggested email phishing campaigns initially infected computers, using email attachments and malicious websites links have been confirmed. The worm then spreads across networks. While assurances have been given regarding the loss of patient data, the malware provides backdoor access to victim’s computers, so data theft is a distinct possibility. Yet, the issue isn’t just about the security of patient information, it’s also about preventing patient harm. This is not an isolated incident. Similar incidents have already occurred in the healthcare sector, even in the UK. Only a few hospitals were affected, attracting limited publicity and concern. Many more medical facilities belonging to the U.S. MedStar Health provider were severely disrupted last year. The impact of such attacks also feature in a new BSI publication on Medical Device Cyber Security, which describes the convergence of safety and security risk, along with defensive principles. Other sectors have also been impacted  including UK,  French and Romanian car plants and the German rail operator. Spanish victims included telecoms multinational Telefonica, and utilities Iberdrola and Gas Natural. Critical infrastructure asset owners have been impacted by ransomware in the past, including several power utilities. Organisations with unsupported operating systems or ineffective patching programmes will continue to be vulnerable. At best,

UK & Europe ,

Marc Woodall
21 Mar 2017

Studies by the World Health Organisation and Public Health England show that people who exercise every day for 15 minutes, are 30% less likely to suffer from illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Their risk of certain cancers also falls by up to 30%. But it's not only about good health; a greater number of people choosing to walk and cycle also makes good transport and urban planning sense. Transport users who walk or cycle better economise road space when travelling, in comparison to some other travel modes such as cars or taxis. Naturally this benefit extends to parking issues; you could store 20 bicycles in the same space as one car. Air quality and carbon emission benefits are well documented, and studies such as the Department for Transport's The Value of Cycling report suggest that people who the visit shops on foot or by bike spend more than people who drive. Beyond evidence based studies alone, the walking and cycling agenda has been supported by: industry collaboration, sharing of best practice, commitment at policy level by government funding schemes and the launch of their cycling and walking specific strategy. When you combine these benefits, encouraging walking and cycling as the mode of choice seems to be the silver bullet to some of the challenges that society is facing. Inevitably however, there are certain challenges and barriers to increasing levels of walking and cycling that require further consideration. There has been a real drive toward urban planning for all travel modes, but legacy

UK & Europe ,

Priya Jain
12 Jan 2016

The first time I heard the phrase “Influence Leadership,” which describes the art of having influence without possessing a position of power, I struggled with the idea of really being able to move the needle without a position of authority. But reflection on my own career and the careers of my mentors has helped me realize that many times, without recognizing it, we had been “influencers” outside of positions of authority. But how do you become an influencer on purpose? How do you craft a road map that allows you to consistently have influence over outcomes and events without power and authority? In my experience, I’ve found 4 key elements that have given me an edge and allowed me to influence decisions without necessarily having direct authority. Those elements are passion, focus, expertise, and social/political capital.   Find your passion: While this phrase has been overused, I’ve found it to be a key element in becoming an effective influencer. It serves as the fuel that keeps you going, helps you persevere, and gives you the courage to bounce back from failures. Some people have always had an innate, focused passion for something. But passion can also evolve over time through trial and error of discovering what you like or dislike. There were many times early in my career where I struggled with the question “what do I want to do?” I really only knew what I did not want to do, and I used that as a starting point

North America ,

Mike McNicholas
07 Jan 2016

During my career, I’ve learned the value of the art in engineering and the importance of human interaction. To put it as simply as I can, I’ve found that people don’t tend to buy an engineering company, they tend to buy people. I often wonder how we can make sure that the importance of human relationships is pervasive in engineering given the rise of digital engineering and technology. There are some obvious benefits to a fully digital environment, and I think we have a lot to learn from the new generation of engineers and their experience of technology. However, there is a danger of things becoming so robotic and scientific that we lose the human perspective. I want us to see digital engineering not just as technology, but as a tool to unlock greater levels of creativity, greater time for human interaction and greater time for collaboration. After all, it’s our relationships and our human perspective of the end-user in our work that lead to truly great engineering. At the moment, virtually every engineering project is a voyage of discovery; it’s not a system. However, the world is moving towards taking a manufacturing approach to construction. This would mean no project is truly a one off – instead it would be built from a kit of parts, similar to car manufacturing. The role of design therefore might change, as less time will be spent designing from scratch. This ‘kit of parts’ approach would give us more for less in terms of time and effort,

UK & Europe ,


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Mayflower Court provides 24 hour care for older people, as well as specialist care for people living with dementia. The home offers best in class facilities, with en-suite rooms for 72 residents, as well as a café, hair and beauty salon, craft room, bakery, lounges, library and landscaped gardens.  The care home is formed of two small ten and eight bedroom ‘households’ on each of the four floors, to create intentional communities on a scale which resonates with peoples’ experiences of living in families. These spaces include shared dining, living, reading, terraces and ‘memory zones’. Residents’ bedrooms have been designed to meet their changing needs, enabling them to remain in the same room throughout their stay. Bedrooms also include large floor to ceiling windows to maximise natural light and provide a connection with the outdoors. For people living with dementia, display cabinets or ‘memory boxes’ are placed outside each room, so that they can be filled with personal keepsakes such as photos or mementos to help patients recognise their room. Our design enables the care home staff to provide different levels

UK ,

Celtic Springs Cancer Centre in Newport, Wales, will be the first site in the UK able to perform proton beam therapy, a new and highly advanced form of radiotherapy. We are providing a full multi-disciplinary service to remodel the existing building, which we also designed back in 2006. Our new designs for the centre, both inside and out, have been solely focused on the patient experience. From arrival to treatment, the exterior and interior of the building maintain a calming atmosphere to help patients overcome the inevitable anxiety associated with cancer diagnosis, treatment and medical institutions in general. Proton beam therapy is highly important in the treatment of cancerous tumours found in places that can be difficult or dangerous to reach with surgery, and has less side-effects than standard radiotherapy.  

UK ,

This 'next generation' care home has been thoughtfully designed alongside dementia specialists to create an environment which increases quality of life for older people and facilitates independent living. Our design for West Hall included many features aimed specifically at helping people with dementia. These include sensors built into bed frames to monitor individuals’ sleep patterns and bedtime bathroom routines.  Residents fill memory boxes built into the entrance of each bedroom with their personal items, such as family pictures, which help them recognise their room. Uniquely patterned tactile panels by their doors and distinct colour schemes on each floor also help with recognition. The other facilities at West Hall include a central bistro, private dining room, library and hair salon which provide comfort and a sense of normality to residents, with a designed quiet room offering a peaceful retreat for those looking to relax away from their room. Find out more.

UK ,

Atkins has been commissioned by the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) to design/ redesign the Cardiology Centre in Awali, Bahrain. The project will make use of our multidisciplinary consultancy and design services to complete a tender package for construction. The project will make use of our multidisciplinary consultancy and design services to complete a tender package for construction. The proposed cardiac centre will comprise a total of 148 beds covering in and out patients, diagnostic and therapeutic services, with a total built-up area estimated to be 32,000 sqm. Atkins multidisciplinary team will cover architecture, MEP, structures, ICT, landscape, infrastructure, and medical gases & equipment. Atkins is undertaking due diligence of all existing engineering services and completion of the architectural design to conclude detailed design as well as tender and site supervision stages over a 33-month programme.

Bahrain ,

Atkins was appointed in February 2009 to provide full architectural and lead consultant services for the redevelopment and significant expansion of an existing Level 3 Neonatal Unit based at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital. It was a tight site set between buildings, and the brief was to incorporate an element of the existing to be seamlessly part of the new. The new unit accommodates 50 cots, with usage that varies between Intensive Care, High Dependency and Special Care levels with an associated Outpatients / Day Clinic area and Seminar Suite. The Trust had concerns about efficiency and staffing levels for these critical care cots, as well as good patient management. Cutting edge technologies in respect of patient management systems are an essential component that have been incorporated & coordinated into the detail design. The scheme design was developed to ensure compliance with the latest NHS Health Building Note guidance and to achieve a BREEAM Health rating of Excellent, early consideration was therefore given to optimising orientation, views, natural ventilation and the use of sustainable elements such as a sedum roof. The project

UK ,

Two new state-of-the-art health facilities have been created for the communities of Perthshire and Angus in Scotland. At Murray Royal Hospital, two wards have been built for psychiatric patients, including a secure care centre with low and medium security facilities. Patients at Stracathro Hospital will also benefit from the addition of two new wards. Atkins’ design supported NHS Tayside’s aim of providing patients with an integrated mental health service. The new wards are connected by a social hub and patient support accommodation including day hospital and outpatient facilities. The secure care centre is a separate building because of the security needed in that area. However, we created a masterplan to ensure it was linked with the other facilities through cohesive architecture.  

UK ,

Atkins provided landscape and design advice to support a bid for Enniskillen acute hospital in Northern Ireland. The bid involved a consortium led by contractor Skanska which included Atkins’ civil, structural and highways engineers. The grounds of the new hospital had to accommodate 780 car parking spaces, access for emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and pedestrian drop zones and a large hospital industrial area. Our design aimed to maximise the rural setting and expansive views for the benefits of staff, visitors and patients and also meet functional requirements. Consideration was also given to the way visitors access the hospital, ensuring that the final design features help minimise stress levels. Materials were chosen to be cost effective, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

UK ,

Our concept design for Kazan Accident and Emergency (A&E) was the winning design as part of a limited international competition. The hospital is a world class A&E facility for the citizens of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tartastan, Russia. The concept is based on projecting a caring, maternal and organic image for the hospital, in contrast to the stereotypical clinical / functional appearance of the existing healthcare facilities. The value of the external environment in contributing to the recuperation of patients is reinforced by the integration of landscape and courtyards while the soft curves and organic forms break the clinical stereotype.

Russia ,


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Ian Tempest
Healthcare director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 141 220 2000

Middle East

Ben Thompson
Head of communications
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 405 9193


In this section you can find publications produced by Atkins for the healthcare sector.

Title Format Size
Healthcare pdf 6.0MB


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