Interior Design student sees her winning plans 'bring the outside in' at new health centre

A student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has seen her designs for the reception area of a new sexual health centre become a reality.

Health bosses chose Sasha Bahra’s design for the reception because of its welcoming feel, open plan design and her idea of covering one entire wall with an image of plants and nature to ‘bring the outside in’.

SEX CLINIC winner main

Based in the Haymarket Shopping Centre in the city centre, the centre will offer contraception, testing and treatment for sexual infections, cervical screening and lifestyle information.

Interior Design student Sasha said: “I’m a little bit in shock to be honest, I didn’t think my design would win because it was over budget. My original design had one wall covered with a leaf design, but they have changed it to a bluebell wood, and I like that better, it brings together all the colours.

“I wanted people to feel comfortable here. I hope they do.”

Interior Design students were set the challenge of designing the reception area of the new centre by the NHS. Senior lecturer Rosemarie Fitton gave the brief to students from all years and Sasha’s design was chosen.

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Services manager Kim Knight said: “What stood out for us was the picture covering the whole wall. It brings the outside in, not just for patients but the staff as well.

“The waiting area is welcoming, it’s bright and it’s more than we could have ever hoped for. Sasha should be really, really proud.”

The centre, Haymarket Health, opened on Saturday 2 March in an empty shop unit. It has 13 consulting rooms for doctors and nurses to see patients.

The free and confidential NHS service – which is open to patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland – will offer contraception, testing and treatment for sexual infections, cervical screening and lifestyle information. It is open from 8.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday and from 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

People will be able to book appointments online, turn up and wait to be seen, or use self-service facilities at the base, for example to get a self-testing kit or condoms.

Rosemarie said: “We had really good designs come through but I think Sasha was a worthy winner. It was quite a tricky brief to get right because it needed to be somewhere you felt safe, comfortable and welcome but also have the element of privacy. As soon as you walk in, you feel more settled.”

Sexual health services are commissioned by councils as part of their public health remit. Plans to move the city’s service from its current base in St Peter’s Health Centre, Highfields, to the Haymarket centre were approved last year, with £1.6m allocated from Leicester City Council for the relocation project. The St Peters centre had about 28,000 visits a year.

The move to the city centre will significantly reduce rental costs, resulting in long-term savings to the council’s revenue budget.

Councillor Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor and lead on public health, said: “We’ve made a major investment in these new premises because we want to provide the best quality sexual health services for local people.”

Posted on Friday 15th March 2019

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