If you work in a hospital, or if you’ve been on Twitter recently, you’ll probably already know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Across the country, wards are going gold to raise awareness and to raise funds towards research into new treatments and to help families with the cost of travel, accommodation and other expenses they may incur as they help their children through the bravest of battles and toughest of fights.
Inspired by the work that wards up and down the UK have put into their campaigns, we started thinking: when we design wards for young patients and their parents, what design features and details can we include that can make a positive difference while they’re on their journey back to health?
Specially Designed Parent Beds
A hospital stay can be an isolating and lonely experience, especially for young patients. For parents, it’s a time when they want to be close to their children. Our bespoke beds make it easier for them to stay whenever they need to, with the minimum of fuss and little disruption to the rest of the ward.
The beds are designed specifically for use within a hospital room with a mattress measured to fit a standard NHS bedsheet. It also has a raised end which acts as a head rest for when pillows are in short supply. The base beneath the mattress contains three drawers to keep the room clutter free and for parents to store essentials, allowing them to spend less time worrying about packing and repacking overnight bags and giving them more time with their children.
Including a parent bed within a hospital room also means that nurses don’t have to worry about moving bulky items of furniture around to squeeze temporary beds into spaces which may not be big enough. This means a less chaotic ward which will improve the experience of other patients too.
Colour Changing Light Canopies
Our colour changing light canopies allow patients to change the colour of their room at the touch of a button. As simple as it may seem, this has some incredibly important benefits for children and young people staying in hospital.
We often hold focus groups with patients, parents and ward staff and frequently we’re told that one of the most frustrating parts of being an inpatient is relinquishing control of most things in life to a medical team. By installing a light canopy, we’re able to put young patients back in control by allowing them to create an environment that is as comfortable as possible for them, and as they want it to be.
So, while a light canopy may seem like a luxury detail at first glance, for patients it can be one of the most important features of a room. By having the ability to make a choice around the colour of the room they are in, where they’ll likely spend most of their time, they are afforded a little bit of much needed independence, relieving the inevitable frustration of having most elements of their day decided for them by others.
Furniture designed to focus on wellbeing
We have a long history in making bespoke joinery pieces. We originated as a domestic interior design company and we’ve been able to take our founding principles of creating beautiful spaces and combine them with our expertise in enhancing hospital environments. The result is an unrivalled understanding of how to minimise the ‘hospital feel’ of a ward, right down to the furniture.
It’s true that bespoke items are more expensive but, in our experience, the patient benefits outweigh the cost. Clever storage options that maximise available space keep calming rooms clutter free, reducing visual stressors for both young patients and parents. This not only improves the impression they have of a ward, it can also help them feel more relaxed and reassured. This is something that is just as important for parents as it is for young patients; the calmer Mum and Dad are, the more reassured they will be too, in turn helping them to become more receptive and less resistant to treatment.
Each of our bespoke furniture pieces is designed with the needs of patients taken into consideration. Small, clever features like soft closing doors and drawers as well as quiet castors allow the pieces to be used and moved by nurses throughout the day and night without disturbing nearby patients who are resting and recovering. Our furniture is also designed with soft edges so that young patients, or brothers and sisters, (or even Mum and Dad!) are less likely to hurt themselves if they bump into it.
We understand that hospital is never going to be anybody’s favourite place but unfortunately, for some children, hospital stays are unavoidable, especially when they’re battling serious illnesses like cancer. Our years of experience have taught us that a positive environment can have a positive effect on the mindset of both patients and parents. It’s why one of the most important things we think about when we’re designing wards for young patients is how we can create an environment that is not only supportive of them, but also for their parents. As well as this, more and more research is telling us just how big a part the environment where patients get better plays in young people’s journey back to health.
To find out more about how we can create an environment that is beneficial for both your patients and those around them, get in touch today.