DHU operate the main NHS 111 call centre hub for the East Midlands which, as a service, has undergone significant growth (accelerated in part by the Covid pandemic) and will continue to do so over the next 5 years.
maber’s knowhow of re-tasking existing buildings into commercial call centres was combined with an intensive engagement process to understand the Client’s spatial needs; specific to the operation of a medical helpline.
To accommodate their predicted expansion strategy, maber were initially tasked with assessing if they could expand within their current premises, or would need to move to a larger building.
The feasibility study determined that moving into the new Orbis building, a well lit and spacious building which was previously used as a call centre, offered DHU the flexibility for expansion and a clean, spacious environment that would be of great benefit to the wellbeing of their staff.
A key requirement for the client was for a constant visible link between medical advisers and managers and the call handlers teams; this would become more difficult to maintain as the number of staff increased. The maber solution was to create a radial call centre layout ordered around a raised central podium that maximises the visibility between call handlers and their medical advisers.
The wellbeing of staff was a key concern for DHU as call handlers can be exposed to distressing calls during their working hours and so, quiet areas, break out and tea point facilities for enhanced staff wellbeing were introduced allowing staff to switch off from their work, refocus and recalibrate.
Visibility of management was important so glass fronted offices and meeting pods were set amongst the call handlers;
The interior maximises natural daylight; with an injection of colour and feature acoustic timber wall panels to enhance the interior and reduce reverberation.
Other features include:
- Provision of new training rooms of varying size to maximise group flexibility
- Further wellbeing features such as the creation of additional changing facilities, accessible toilets, showers
- Upcycling and reuse of existing workstation chairs, reception desk and training area furniture to minimise waste from the move.