Welcome to Design Council’s weekly journal. This week’s entry is on how it felt for us to run an interactive roundtable session using Miro a visual collaboration tool‎ and the key role of NHS estates.

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old

Peter Drucker

Elisa, Project Manager on running virtual workshops using Miro
So yesterday we had our first virtual roundtable, “Design for sustainable living”, an interactive session we designed using a combination of Zoom and Miro, trying to recreate the same feelings and experience of what we would normally have in our physical workshops.

There was a lot of excitement and a sprinkle of fear at 9.15 am when the first attendees started to appear on Zoom. That was it, technology was in place, no more testing and tweaking, just ready to get the show running.

So we thought about some of the physical details that we were used to and how we could infuse them into the digital space: sitting around a table together, being able to see our faces, the plants that decorate our rooms and our beloved post-it notes to capture thoughts and ideas.

The results? It worked pretty well and left us with even more appetite to discover what we can do to be more creative in our new digital reality.

Victoria, Lead Programme Manager on NHS estates
Alongside our skilled and dedicated NHS staff, Coronavirus also shines a light on the key role of NHS estates. Expert staff and high-quality estates can work hand-in-hand to support patient recovery and the needs of medical staff.

St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where our Prime Minister was treated for Coronavirus, is a prime example. Many years ago, I had first-hand experience there as a patient. Staff and patients are comforted by exquisite views of Big Ben, the London Eye and Westminster Bridge. The River Thames offers a soothing view from many hospital beds. Green spaces outside and paths along the river are open to everyone. How can we ensure that NHS estates are holistically planned and designed to meet the needs of its staff and patients?

In my experience on NHS enhancement and regeneration projects, it starts even before masterplans are drawn up. As we all wish everyone affected by Coronavirus a full and speedy recovery, and extend our deep gratitude to NHS staff on the front line, let’s also keep in mind the role and value of NHS estates.

The views and opinions expressed in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Design Council.

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