A stress free A&E

In a bid to keep patients calm, stress free and relaxed while visiting an accident and emergency room, psychologists and health care practitioners teamed up with designers to come up with innovative and calming designs for A&E departments.

The project which took over a year was managed by the Design Council, attempted to develop procedures and design features to ease patients’ anxiety and annoyance as a result of not knowing what was happening and how long they had to wait.

The recommended changes have been put into place in three NHS hospital A&E units, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, University Hospital Southampton and Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London. Designs include lighting, decor and seating arrangements and clear display of maps and signs. Additionally, new screens have been put up making patients aware of how many people are ahead of them in the queue.

As part of the improvements to patient experience staff have been urged to provide clear explanations at each stage of treatment and new approaches as to how people are initially greeted when arrive at the A&E unit have been explored.

The commission arose in an attempt to reduce the number of attacks on NHS staff a problem that is believed to cost around £69 million each year, last year official statistics report that in England alone, there were 57,830 physical assaults on NHS workers.

It was reported that for little over £60 thousand, new systems and designs can help to reduce the aggression, stress and anxiety of patents and improve the service for workers and users alike.

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