The commission's report, Healthy Hospitals: Radical Improvements in Design Emergency, warns of the impact that bad design has on a patient's prognosis, and hopes that its four teams will establish a corollary relationship between good design and improved outcomes.
The four teams chosen by the commission are FAT with Demos, Jane Darbyshire and David Kendell, McDowel + Benedetti and MUF with Rosetta Life. Together, they have suggested innovations such as "no-waiting rooms", beanbags that bleep when the doctor or nurse is ready to see the patient, and brightly coloured exteriors to create a "warm, clean and welcoming" environment.
CABE, in co-operation with the Royal College of Nursing, wants the public to vote on the four design guidelines.
The report reveals the importance that design holds for medical staff: 87% of nurses saying that working in a well-designed hospital would make them do their job better.
Jon Rouse, the chief executive of CABE, revealed his personal feelings in a column in The Guardian. He singled out the "truly dreadful" Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, to illustrate his case. He said it had "the look of a high-security prison or an out-of-town retail centre", and described the interior as "sprawling … split by long, forbidding corridors".