Contributor corner – Lucy Maddox

UnknownDr Lucy Maddox is a clinical psychologist, lecturer and writer. Lucy works clinically on an NHS psychiatric ward for teenagers at the Maudsley Hospital in South London, and she lectures at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and the Anna Freud Centre.

Lucy has written for various publications including The Guardian, Science, Prospect, The Psychologist, The Times and The Huffington Post. She was a British Science Association Media Fellow in 2013.

Follow her on Twitter: @lucy_maddox or read her blog Psychology Magpie.

What is your feature about?

My piece is about the impact that hospitals and other healthcare buildings can have on patients, families and staff. This impact is not only emotional, it’s also physical, measured in terms of patient recovery, staff health and family interactions.

The evidence suggests that a well-designed building can speed recovery, whereas a badly designed one might make patients and staff feel sicker. I look at some examples of great healthcare design and also consider what gets in the way of the best design principles being used more widely.

What did you learn that you didn't expect?

I was surprised by how beautiful some of the spaces were that I visited. They really do make you feel better as you walk in. Some of the uses of technology were really ingenious too: I loved seeing the robots in the Norwegian hospital, and the nappy accelerometers in the Dyson neonatal unit in Bath were a great idea.

I was struck by how much evidence there is around healthcare design, and yet how little that evidence is typically drawn upon, for a variety of reasons.

Read Lucy's feature on Mosaic from 25 November 2014.