The Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre (HaCIRIC)

HaCIRIC logoStart Date: 01/09/2006
End Date: 31/05/2013
Project Status: Current


HaCIRIC is a unique collaborative venture between Imperial College and the universities of Loughborough, Reading and Salford. HaCIRIC has just been granted a £4.6m extension to the original five-year grant of £7.2m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  HaCIRIC is a unique source of skills and knowledge brought together to inform the development of policy and practice for the provision of strategically critical healthcare infrastructures for the 21st century.

HaCIRIC's vision is to be a world class centre delivering research to support better healthcare through better infrastructure. It aims to be the first port of call for research, help and advice for organisations involved in the redesign of their healthcare infrastructure, both in the UK and internationally.

The HaCIRIC programme was established in 2006 and is now responding to the changing global context for healthcare.  Britain and all major developed countries need to meet an expanding demand for services while simultaneously controlling rising costs, improving quality and safety, and increasing productivity.  As HaCIRIC moves into the next phase, it is focusing on two critical challenges: decision support to achieve better health through better infrastructure, and implementing and embedding effective and efficient healthcare.

Big Issues

To address these challenges, research is focussed on four Big Issues:

  1. Home not hospital: how to embed new systems of remote care (telecare) - across the NHS and social care, to achieve high quality, personalised, cost effective services.
  2. Safer patients: seeking answers to reducing healthcare associated infection - is it more wash hand basins, single rooms, controlled movement of people, better cleaning or integrated staff training?
  3. Smarter purchasing: helping to redesign buying methods to embed innovative healthcare, sifting the best from PPPs, PFIs and other models from around the world.
  4. Better decision-making: developing fresh approaches to complicated decision making - planning buildings and services to get the best from technology, people and infrastructure.

HaCIRIC within the ICRC at the University of Reading is conducting research across all four Big Issues.


elderly_couple_shoppingHome not hospital will focus on the redesign of the Frail Elderly Pathway (FEP) in a Midlands PCT, against the backdrop of economic pressures on the NHS. Research will explore how the home and other existing healthcare spaces are being reconfigured and refurbished to facilitate Frail Elderly care, and the large sociotechnical challenges which this poses.


petri_dishSafer patients is exploring the issue of Health Care Acquired Infections (HCAI).  Researchers are working with UCLH and Great Ormond Street Hospital to examine the relationship between built environment, people movement and transmission of HCAIs. The aim is to a) identify components of the built environment which could then be modified to help prevent or minimise the risks of undesirable microbial transmission, and b) help to maximise the effectiveness of existing means of limiting HCAI through more effective use of healthcare infrastructure.


Property on scales

Smarter purchasing is identifying future funding and finance mechanisms for healthcare infrastructure delivery.  Research is also being undertaken into how best to reconfigure the existing NHS estate for the current economic and political climate.


Better decision-making is exploring the interfaces between healthcare and Blueprintsconstruction, and looking at new technologies for delivering effective healthcare infrastructure.



Team details:

Dr Chris Harty

HaCIRIC Principal Investigator

Dr Sepideh Arkani
Senior Research Fellow

Dr Richard Davies
Research Fellow

Dr Jasvinder Gill

Research Fellow

Ms Carole Boudeau
Research Assistant

Mr William Collinge

PhD Student

Industrial Partners:

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