Programme Updates

Practising Connection – Public Health and The Surgery of the Future 4.0 – Jericho Notices: May 2021

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Practising Connection 

Public Health and The Surgery of the Future 4.0 

This edition of Jericho Notices celebrates a new publication, focused on public health and, more specifically, on primary healthcare in communities.

You can download a copy of Practising Connection – Public Health and The Surgery of the Future 4.0 here.

This publication has its origins in Autumn 2020, during the second national lockdown. Jericho convened a series of six roundtable conversations: Public Health: In the Right Place? The pun was intentional, suggesting an examination of where physically the processes of primary health care are carried out – in what sort of bricks and mortar surgeries – and also where it sits on the continuum of medicine and wellbeing dating back many thousands of years.

We are proud to share this latest publication, produced on behalf of Assura plc, which develops, invests in and manages a portfolio of 570 primary care medical centres across the UK. “If we have one mission,” says Claire Rick, Assura’s Head of Public Affairs, “it is to try to create places – buildings and exterior environments – which move forward from the sense of a patient waiting for something to happen to them.”


Practising Connection explores radical alternatives to primary healthcare and argues that future design is as much about systems as it is about buildings and places. The Surgery of the Future 4.0 will embrace the very best of medical practice, reformed NHS institutions and, critically, community collective action. It builds on both the learnings and achievements of the COVID pandemic, to place the patient front-and-centre of everything.

Edited by Jericho’s Matthew Gwyther, it is an important read and, we hope, a vital contribution to future thinking and planning around primary healthcare provision. Consistent with the Jericho approach, ideas have been generated on a collaborative basis, drawing on a wide range of specialist expertise and those with lived experience. We are especially grateful to Danny Kruger MP and author Margaret Heffernan for their input and guidance.


The publication opens with views from the team at Frome Medical Centre in Somerset – the “poster child” for local ecosystem thinking. Further contributors include:
– David Grayson, former Chair of Carers UK, who reflects on the continuing debate about how to fund social care, and the urgent need for a long-term plan for the sector, putting a Collaborative Commitment at the centre of Social &Primary Care
– Dr Olivia Chapple of charity Horatio’s Garden explains the benefits of nature on patient wellbeing and morale
– Dame Laura Lee, CEO of charity Maggie’s, explores the crucial challenge of how to best make hospitals welcoming environments
– Matthew Gwyther provides an overview of the historic but pioneering Peckham Experiment and how the past can help shape the future – the potential for a patient-centric, community-focused primary care ecosystem
– Brendan Martin, Managing Director of Buurtzog UK and Ireland, writes about his organisation’s radical approach to healthcare that centres around localism and neighbourhood care
– Andy Russell, Growth Director at Nyby, speaks about how digital infrastructure and peer-to-peer tech networks such as those he champions can adapt healthcare to be more personable, decentralised, and suitable for patient needs
Ab Rogers, designer, explains why design (both systemic and architectural) is central to creating spaces that can fit form to function no matter how demand shifts – while feeling truly embedded in the local neighbourhood.

Combined, this collection of essays provides invaluable insight into how primary care buildings and environments will need to evolve to support patient experiences of local health services/ improve equality of access to healthcare in future. Ultimately, ‘design thinking’, as well as the design of the primary care and community health environment, should co-create solutions with and for the people they support – a health ecosystem operating within an agreed framework.


Jericho programmes invite contributions from across the spectrum: professionals and business leaders, designers, experts and those with lived experience. All views are welcome. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute or become part of the next steps of the programme.

Keep well. Stay safe.

Team Jericho
May 9th 2021 

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