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A world-class elective healthcare facility

National Treatment Centre, Highland

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NHS Highland





As an elective care facility providing care for local communities, the National Treatment Centre, Highland is successfully reducing waiting times and improving health outcomes, exceeding NHS Highland’s original expectations.

The background

The National Treatment Centre, Highland is a unique example of the power of stakeholder-led healthcare building design, resulting in a human-centric facility built around care and compassion for patients, staff and visitors alike. The elective care facility provides the Highlands and beyond with state-of-the-art ophthalmology and orthopaedic healthcare, set in the landscape of the Inverness Campus. 

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The campus creates an opportunity to inspire innovation and more direct collaboration between health, education and research in Life Science.

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The design approach

The National Treatment Centre, Highland was designed with 360° visibility in mind, given its elevated position from the surrounding landscape. The back and front of house has received the same level of design care to promote pride and maintenance in all areas, including staff entrances and goods delivery.

Patients are never more than thirty seconds from their treatment destination at any point in the building. The proximity of the prioritised drop off and collection zone to the reception area provides patients continual sight of carers while they park, bringing comfort to older patients while they take shelter in reception. 

Efficiencies in the patient journey and associated clinical pathways have been integrated into the design, by creating treatment rooms that flow in the order that the patients need them.  

Every opportunity to bring natural light into the space has been taken, giving surgeons a link to the outside during long hours in theatre.

Our inhouse BIM team worked closely with the client and contractor to tailor the BIM Level 2 outputs, saving time for the facilities maintenance team as they could seamlessly integrate COBie data into their management systems.  Clash detection was used to pre-empt and rectify any differences across plans, significantly reducing the risk of error arising on site.

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The interiors

Our in-house Interiors team have successfully captured the connection to the outdoors, enriching the care journey through the hospital beyond the client’s expectations.

With a colour palette of blues, oranges and pinks to reflect the surrounding landscape, the interiors embrace the hospital’s unique location and bring a vibrant, uplifting feeling to all spaces. These bright and cheerful colours contrast with the typical sterile healthcare environment, helping lift spirits of staff and patients.

The local landscape imagery spanning the walls in waiting and breakout areas lift the spaces which are coupled with open slatted walls which maintain connection while offering privacy and space for reflection.

Designing the hospital in a way that has maximised exposure to natural light brings a fresh airy feel to all areas, contributing to an overall sense of wellbeing for patients, staff and visitors.

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The impact

As an elective care facility providing care for local communities, the National Treatment Centre, Highland has successfully reduced waiting times and improved health outcomes. Since its opening in April 2023, it has exceeded all strategic local and national targets and has continued to show efficiencies beyond expectations.  

Its ease, functionality and beauty have become an incentive for professionals to relocate to the North of Scotland. Jane Barniesin a Staff Nurse stated, "Hospitals always have something missing. But here - the National Treatment Centre has instilled a desire to instil kindness.” 

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A beautiful and highly functional building.


NHS Highland


Niall Hastie

Gordon Burniston

Mark Huskisson

Paul Gilligan Partner Sector Lead

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