Health minister Lord Warner and construction minister Nigel Griffiths this week hosted a summit on best practice in healthcare construction.

The aim of the event was to produce practical guidance that will inform policies and decision-making for new projects.

The one-and-half-day summit, called “Innovation in Healthcare Construction”, organised by the DTI and NHS Estates, examined how best practice could be developed.

The idea was to design facilities with more suitable environments for patients and staff, more efficient supply chains and an environment-sensitive use of building materials.

Griffiths said that, with more than £4bn having been allocated to 15 new hospitals, it was time to make sure that investment delivered the best of what the construction industry had to offer.

He said: “UK construction is a world leader in delivering high-quality projects, but there is always room for improvement.”

He added that the workshop was a chance for both sides of the process to build on the strong relationship established through Procure 21, and work towards creating an NHS for the 21st century.

Warner said it was vital for the government to support the NHS in providing the right environment in which to care for patients and support staff in their work.