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Layout of the surgery can be broken into five areas:
The waiting area gives your patients their
first impression of the practice, so it is important to ensure it
reflects what your business is all about. You can actively promote
your practice philosophy whilst patients are waiting by having
posters, leaflets and notices readily available for them. Make sure
you have your practice logo in a prominent area to help patients
identify with your practice. It is important that the reception
area and waiting room is as comfortable and welcoming as
Comfort involves many aspects including:
The reception area is also part of the
patient's first impression. Not only is this to do with layout, but
it is also reflected in the efficient, friendly and courteous way
staff deal with patients. In terms of layout, it is crucial that
patients are encouraged to come to the reception desk on arrival
and prior to departure.
The reception area is a workplace and must provide a safe and
comfortable environment for staff that spends all day there.
It is important that the waiting area can be viewed from
reception. This is for a variety of reasons, most importantly
Disability access for patients
with mobility issues
A hand-over room is a great asset if space
allows. This provides a working area with a computer for
practitioners or other staff to complete documentation etc. if
other areas are all full. This is particularly useful in
multi-practitioner practices with shared rooms.
The consulting rooms allow for a more
personalised atmosphere, and practitioners may have preferences
depending on the type of consultations, procedures and treatments
they generally perform. Your rooms need to be set out in an
efficient, safe but comfortable way.
Procedure and treatment rooms are separate from
consulting rooms and equipped to deal with patients undergoing
treatment. The links between the areas must be designed to avoid
congestion and ensure safety, confidentiality and security. Note
that in general practice, a treatment room should be situated close
to the waiting area and reception so that nurses are immediately on
hand in case of medical emergency.
A recreational area is important for staff
breaks, keeping staff on site and giving them a much-needed
opportunity to unwind and refresh. If space allows, a large kitchen
area is ideal, with room for a table big enough to be used for
meetings if there is no separate meeting/training room.
Disability access is a key issue for many medical practices. It
is important when setting up any practice to ensure that the needs
of patients with disabilities and limited mobility are taken into
consideration. In general practice, disability access will be
assessed as part of the accreditation process with AGPAL/QIP or
GPA, however it is important for all practices to ensure they are
suitably equipped to meet patient needs. You should review the
layout and design of your practice with a view to addressing the