Design for Patient Dignity

Brief
Design a piece of equipment or a service that will provide greater physical and emotional security for patients as they move around and wait in areas of the hospital.

Solution
A hybrid between a bed and a chair, the Reclining Day Chair can be wheeled around the hospital and its forward tilt makes it easier for patients to get in and out. The herringbone layout of the Bay Screen means patients in short-term shared spaces do not have to look directly at one another, and so have a much greater sense of privacy.

How they work

Reclining Day Chair
The Reclining Day Chair can rotate from a normal sitting position into both reclined and forward tilt positions. It has a high pivot point, above the centre of gravity, so patients are rocked rather than tossed into the recline position. Two sets of handles enable hospital porters to set the chair into upright or recline mode easily, and to move it around the hospital. The forward tilt position makes it easier for patients to get in and out of the chair. Its ideal for patients who are too tired, faint or nauseous for a chair but not ill enough to need a hospital bed.

There are four main accessories for the chair: * A drip stand * A pouch for storage * An oxygen tank * A place to store equipment such as a urine bag attached to a catheter which can be covered up but still accessed easily.

Bay Screen
The Bay Screen is a divider based on tent or kite technology, with fabric stretched over lightweight carbon fibre rods. When a series of the screens are used in short-term shared patient spaces, the 1.5m screens are angled from the side wall s to create more private spaces. Patients cannot see the patient opposite them when sitting or lying, but they can still see and talk to passing staff. And, in the same way that its easier to park a car at an angle, the herringbone layout of the room means its easier for staff to manoeuvre a patient on a chair or bed into the space.

Poncho
The Poncho complements the chair and screens, keeping patients warm as they move around the hospital. Its lack of sleeves means staff can access patients easily for treatment, making it the ideal garment to wear over a hospital gown instead of a dressing gown.

The issue in context
Many patients require the services of a porter at some point during their stay in hospital, but being wheeled around or being left in waiting areas with members of the opposite sex can be undignified. In Medical Assessment Units, day procedure wards, recovery spaces and other areas patients can find curtained areas at once exposing and isolating: closed ceiling-hung curtains mean they cant make eye contact with staff, but when curtains are open they can see straight out at patients opposite them and be seen by people walking past.

This video is courtesy of the design council,
designcouncil.org.uk/dignity

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