The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is the representative forum for the professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry.

CIC launches Design Quality Indicator for Health 2

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has launched an updated version of its design quality evaluation tool, the Design Quality Indicator for Health 2 (DQIfH2), which will contribute to improved design, long term functionality and sustainability of future hospital new build and major adaption and refurbishment projects. 

This latest version enables the DQIfH2 to be used by healthcare organisations and their key stakeholders to engage earlier in the consultation and design process of all types of healthcare buildings. The tool has been updated to perform better with the latest NHS England & Improvement requirements aligned to the current business case process whilst being adaptable to be used on accelerated project programmes. DQIfH2 is now designed to become the vehicle for not only design appraisal but also staged review of other NHS estates assurances processes covering impact on the procurement process at an early stage e.g. Carbon Reduction and Sustainability, Infection Prevention & Control, Fire Safety, Planning, BIM etc.

The CIC’s original Design Quality Indicator, which was launched in 2002, is a process for evaluating and improving the design and construction of any type of new building and the refurbishment of existing ones, with various sector specialisms such as health, education and civic buildings. It focused on involving a wider group of stakeholders in the design process than was then the case, involving not only the design and construction teams, but also those who used, financed and were affected by the building.

The 2002 DQI provided staged review by stakeholders of a projects design development from concept to completion consistent with RIBA and other industry standards and in 2008 was adopted by the Department of Health as the Achieving Excellence Design Evaluation Toolkit (AEDET).

In 2010 the Department of Health commissioned the first DQI for Health as the default design quality evaluation tool for all healthcare projects. It built on the solid foundations of the original DQI whilst also incorporating the best of the then obsolete AEDET.

DQIfH2 has been designed to follow the NHS’s business case process through Strategic Outline Case (SOC), Outline Business Case (OBC), Full Business Case (FBC), Construction and Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). The process has been used in more than 70 health projects since its inauguration in 2014 and more than 130 assessments have been facilitated by the CIC’s own team of accredited independent facilitators.

DQIfH2 will become an important assurance tool for not only NHS trusts, but also all providers of healthcare accommodation whether Primary, Acute or Specialised care, throughout the whole life of a project and not just the delivery phase.

DQIfH2 will support the objectives set for major capital investment in the NHS healthcare estate e.g. Health Infrastructure Plan 1 and 2 Schemes, as well as linking with other government requirements on improved design quality to reduce risk and cost.

Graham Watts, Chief Executive of CIC, said: ‘‘Improving quality in the built environment is at the core of CIC’s mission and the new DQI for Health 2 aligns excellently with the work that CIC is doing elsewhere, in terms of improving building design, safety, quality and procurement.  This is not just for projects related to healthcare but also other construction sectors that can have a direct influence on health and wellbeing in the UK, such as housing and education. We are keen to continue our close working with NHS England & Improvement both during the launch of the DQIfH2 and in the longer term to ensure continuing improvement over the coming years.’

Simon Corben, Director and Head of Profession, NHS Estates and Facilities said: ‘The quality of the NHS estate is a key factor in delivering both high quality clinical care and a positive environment for patients, visitors and staff. Use of the new DQI for Health through the NHS’s business case process will support delivery of this.’