The Department of Health launched its Design for Patient Dignity project with the Design Council to bring some of the best minds in the design industry to bear on issues affecting both hospital patients and NHS staff. Top British designers and architects are now working with the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to improve the experience of hospital patients.
Six teams of leading UK product, interiors, fashion and systems designers, architects and manufacturers have been appointed to work on an exciting range of briefs that will help to improve the hospital environment and patient experience. The work follows extensive research to identify what particular issues matter most to patients, staff and experts and will focus on:
- New ward layouts
- New products which help provide greater privacy for patients within the ward
- New patient gowns which improve patient dignity
- More dignified toileting and washing facilities
- New ways of improving the physical and emotional security of patients being transferred within hospitals.
The teams are working intensively with patients, experts, hospital staff and others to make some of their ideas a reality and to develop prototypes, which will be unveiled in March 2010 with the aim of introducing the designs into hospitals by early 2011.
The design teams include PearsonLloyd, responsible for the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Super Seats. They were appointed following a nationwide search for designers and specialist manufacturers who could together develop designs, as well as create prototypes and put them into full-scale production for introduction to hospitals. Over sixty design teams applied to the challenge, and were judged by a panel of experts in design, patient care, hospital management and nursing.
Barron Gould Hollington completed the NHS-funded design of a flexible mobile Patient Bedside System in April 2009. "This radical redesign of the bedside cabinet reduces clutter, makes cleaning easier and offers patients easy-to-access storage," said the Design Council.