Florence Nightingale once wrote on the hospital environment: 'People say the effect is on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, colour, by light, we do know this, that they have a physical effect.'
More than one hundred years later there is now a wealth of research evidence to show the positive impact that the environment can have on health and healing but, although the NHS is currently in the midst of the largest building programme in its history, for many patients, visitors and staff today the hospital environment still remains grey, soulless, drab and depressing.