Creating Attractive, Functional Outdoor Spaces for the Healthcare Sector

When creating a healthcare facility, it is crucial the environment caters for patients’ physical and mental needs as well as their emotional wellbeing. By providing outside spaces in healthcare designs can create a sense of homeliness and allow patients to feel more independent and less confined. Attractive outdoor spaces with warm, natural designs and colours can have a wide range of therapeutic benefits, including brightening patients’ moods and improving their mental and physical health. 

Designing outdoor spaces for hospitals, inpatient clinics and other healthcare centres should take into consideration both the physical and emotional needs of patients, as well as their safety. Here are a few design considerations to keep in mind.

DecoSlat privacy screens for hospitals

Privacy and Security

According to NSW Health, allowing patients privacy gives them a sense of dignity, which is important for their mental health during their stay in hospital or an inpatient clinic. Having fenced-off areas that cannot be seen from the outside can offer patients a space to sit by themselves and pray, meditate or reflect, or a place for them to interact with loved ones without fear of prying eyes. Using privacy screens and fencing also doubles as a security feature, ensuring patients feel safe at all times. Making privacy orsecurity fences and screens as attractive as possible adds to a sense of contentment. 

DecoSlat is the ideal product for building fences and privacy screens to keep patients safe and protect their privacy. DecoSlats can create a screening with subtle gaps to  preventto prevent anyone seeing through the screen, but far enough apart to still allow natural light to filter into a healthcare garden or courtyard. Finished in a choice of over 30 beautiful woodgrains from our DecoWood range, DecoSlat fences add a touch of warmth and natural beauty to an outdoor space that patients will love. 

Clearly Marked Entry and Exit Points 

Crucial for safety in any healthcare space is an easy entry and exit point. According to Health Victoria it is especially important that entry and exit points are clearly marked. This ensures patients, visitors and staff know exactly where to go in case of an emergency, and the healthcare team can easily access your facility’s courtyard or garden quickly in case someone needs urgent medical attention. Clear, easy-to-read wayfinding signs with visible text and recognisable markings are an excellent way to make sure everyone knows how to get in and out of a space safely. It is important to make sure these signs will not fade or peel with exposure to weather, or this may affect their readability.

DECO’s durable signage product, DecoSign, is ideal for creating clear wayfinding signs for hospital outdoor spaces. Using sublimation technology, which embeds an image into a powder coat finish, DecoSign can recreate whatever map, symbols, directions or words you need on a hardwearing aluminium sign. Made using Super Durable Class 2 powders, DecoSign is UV stable and resistant to moisture and acidic salt spray, meaning the image or words on your sign will not fade over time or degrade if exposed to harsh weather. This ensures visitors and staff in your healthcare facility will always be able to read your signs and navigate the outdoor space easily. 


Slip Resistance

Patients’ physical safety (and the safety of staff and visitors as well) must be of paramount concern. Avoiding slips, trips and falls should always be a priority. This is especially important when taking into account elderly patients, patients in wheelchairs or on crutches and other patients with mobility issues. Choosing products that create slip-resistant surfaces can help reduce the risk of injury.

For a slip-resistant outdoor flooring that is safe to walk on even on wet days, try DecoDeck. A powder-coated, solid aluminium decking board that can be used in courtyards, covered outdoor spaces, walkways or even indoor-to-outdoor transitional spaces, DecoDeck is coated with a special slip-resistant powder coating with a rubber additive. This slip-resistant coating, which achieves a P4 slip rating in accordance with AS 4586, makes DecoDeck suitable for use even in wet areas. DecoDeck is available in 18 attractive woodgrain colours and one contemporary concrete-look finish, offering extra beauty to your outdoor space that patients will appreciate. 

DecoDeck has been featured in healthcare outdoor spaces including the Courtyard at Cabrini Hospital in Malvern. 

Outdoor Furniture

One of Health Victoria’s recommendations for healthcare courtyards and gardens is outdoor furniture, which allows patients to sit and rest if they need to as well as facilitating social interaction with visitors or other patients. Functional, comfortable and attractive outdoor furniture adds a welcoming, inviting touch to your outdoor space that encourages patients to make use of the outdoor area, sit, relax and soak up the sunlight with their loved ones.

DECO partners with Street Furniture Australia to create beautiful timber-look benches, picnic tables and shelters ideal for adding a touch of natural warmth to an outdoor space, as well as an invitation to sit and socialise. To find out more, contact us.

Victorian specialist centre

Colour and Light

Outdoor spaces for the healthcare sector should, above all, be welcoming, inviting and attractive, offering patients, visitors and staff a safe haven to enjoy. Giving patients ample natural light can improve quality of life, and pairing this with plants and natural colours and textures can enhance the experience and promote a feeling of tranquillity and peace.  

Pairing products made with DECO’s natural timber-look finish, DecoWood, with bright open spaces and greenery can create a stunning outdoor space that will boost morale and foster a sense of calm and safety.  A great example of how DecoWood works with natural sunlight and plants to create a lovely healthcare space is Victoria’s Specialist Healthcare Centre, which uses custom-finished DecoBattens and bright, open spaces with lots of sunlight to create a positive atmosphere. Read more about this project for design inspiration here.


Read more:

Five Healthcare Design Projects Embracing DecoWood 

State-of-the-art medical centre in Lower Templestowe

Creating safe, hygienic and attractive hospital spaces with DecoSplash


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