BlogWhy choose a specialist medical fit out company?
09 Mar 2023
If you’re looking to set up a clinic offering dental or medical services, do you need to use a specialist medical fit out company?
This is a question that many practitioners ask themselves. Perhaps you’re setting up a healthcare practice or plastic surgery centre or even a diagnostics or fertility clinic. There are many fit out and interior design companies out there – so how do you decide who to get to fit out your clinic?
When it comes to fit out contractors, it’s dangerous to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re refurbishing or creating a new clinic, it may be tempting to go with a fit out company who are used to doing standard commercial interiors – perhaps they fit out shops or offices. They may entice you with a price you cannot refuse! The issue is that a medical or dental clinic interior is not a standard project that can be managed by your average fit out company. ‘Why not?’ we hear you ask. Here’s why:
Operating theatre at Adnova clinic
Medical interiors have specific requirements that require specialist knowledge. This applies to many different aspects of the fit out:
Suction systems (most commonly used by dentists). These need specialist plumbing – most general plumbers will use standard ABS rather than MUPVC. Too many bends on a suction system will lead to poor suction once chairs are installed.
X-Ray equipment installation – this requires knowledge of radiation protection, such as lead-lined doors and protective screening.
General practice flow and space planning – will the average fit out contractor be able to advise you on what size decon room you need for your number of surgeries? Or how many WC’s will be adequate for staff and patient levels? Probably not.
DDA compliance – this varies depending on the building type and also whether you are setting up a private / NHS / mixed practice.
Plant room size – it requires experience to know what size of room is required for electrics and medical gas and the size varies greatly on the number of theatres/ recovery rooms in use.
Back up power source – has this been accounted for?
Ventilation – does your contractor know about the requirements around air changes if needed?
Medical gas storage & usage – again, a specialist field of knowledge.
Operating theatres – these come with a long list of requirements including ergonomics and equipment installation.
Circulation space – does the design take bed turning circles into consideration?
Decon room at Islington Smiles
CQC and HTM Compliance
A specialist fit out company will be able to advise their clients at the design stage to ensure that all room layouts and equipment installations comply with CQC and HTM regulations, to either best practice or CQC essential requirement guidelines.
We’ve witnessed on numerous occasions the mistakes that non-specialist fit out companies can make when fitting out a dental or medical clinic. It is simply impossible to know the regulations and intricacy of medical fit outs without experience. As the saying goes – you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
Womens Health Dulwich
At Apollo Interiors, we have many years of experience of designing and building dental and medical practices.
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