Violence and aggression in A&E is a major cost to the the NHS, so in May 2011 the Department of Health and the Design Council commissioned a multi-disciplinary team led by PearsonLloyd Design Ltd to explore cheap design solutions that could ease patient frustration and help make casualty units calmer for everyone.
Alistair and Nigel were brought on board to provide expertise relating to service design, operations and supply management. In conducting much of the project’s primary research, they spent time interviewing and shadowing medical staff, and observing patients in an attempt to study the A&E process from the patient perspective.
The team has now developed a series of prototype designs intended to help make patients feel less alienated and prevent factors that could potentially trigger aggression or violence in the casualty unit. These include a system of environmental signage called ‘slices’, which gives clear, location-specific information, and screens that provide live and dynamic information about how cases are being handled. Everything has been designed to be simple and low-cost to implement, and to avoid creating physical barriers between patients and staff.
“Patients are generally most aggrieved when they don’t know what’s going on or why they’re having to wait. The team’s recommendations aim to provide a simple and better way of greeting and communicating with patients.”
The project also provides specific advice about lighting, decor and seating for managers who might be planning significant refurbishments. Two NHS trusts are currently implementing some of the recommendations, with a third expected to do so shortly. If these pilots are successful, then it is hoped that the ideas will be rolled out across the NHS.
For more information, see the project homepage.
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School of Management
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General Notes For Editors:
The University of Bath School of Management has consistently achieved both top research and teaching ratings in the UK’s Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) assessments. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the School was rated 5th in the UK for management research.
We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development’s quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976. The School is consistently ranked among the top UK business schools by The Times, The Financial Times and The Guardian.
The centrality of research to teaching is an essential feature of all our programmes. The School offers a full range of programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate up to PhD level and post-experience programmes including the world-ranked Bath MBA. The School also provides tailored executive development programmes for middle and senior management.
The School of Management has a faculty of around 90 teaching and research staff, including visiting academics, with a support team of around 70 managerial and administrative staff. Research income averages £2 million per annum. There are approximately 2,100 students in total comprising some 200 MBA students, 370 Master’s students, 210 full- and part-time research students, and over 1100 undergraduates following BSc degrees. The School also runs joint undergraduate programmes with Departments in the Faculties of Engineering and Design, Science, and European Studies and Modern Languages.