It’s often been said that we’re good listeners here at Grosvenor: that we listen to what healthcare staff want to achieve rather than dictating to them what we think they should do.
Sometimes healthcare departments have a very clear idea of what they want before they approach us and we work together to transform their ideas into reality.
The Outpatient Physiotherapy Department at Birmingham’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital recently relocated to new, purpose built premises at College Green in Bournville.
We spoke to Gemma Miles, Deputy Head of Therapy Services, who explained that Paediatrics and adults used to share the same space in the old department, but after they moved they had a new separate area for Paediatrics:
“We wanted to make the new paediatric area look welcoming to children and less clinical – a friendly, fun and inviting area.
Children can be more nervous when taken to an area that is clinical looking and the team wanted to reduce this extra stress and anxiety for younger patients.
The department had been talking about the possibility of having some graphics in the paediatric areas and what this might look like. The whole team was aware that as they cater for children from the age of 3 right through to 16, it was important to choose something that would suit all ages.
So, Gemma enlisted the help of her four nieces whose ages ranged from 5 to 12. She asked them to imagine they were going to hospital and to suggest what they would like to see in the waiting area – something that would make the visit less nerve racking and more fun but would be age appropriate for all of them.
“We talked through several ideas for themes – we discussed the possibility of including little games and they talked about an activity they liked at another hospital where there were things to spot. Eventually my eldest niece drew an outline sketch of a jungle and included fun facts as if they were coming from the animals”.
The department then carried out a survey amongst their patients to get their thoughts on suitable themes.
“We had an initial meeting with Grosvenor’s designer, Victoria Boulton, and talked through some ideas.
We sent Victoria my niece’s drawing and she came up with a design based on this that incorporated some fun facts and included pictures.
With some tweaking to make the animals less cartoon-like and more realistic to appeal to a wider age range, the finished design was very soon taking shape.
“After Grosvenor had installed the wall art in Paediatrics, we invited residents from nearby extra care scheme, Bournville Gardens, for coffee and cake. They all loved the paediatric rooms and were all very positive about the artwork”.
Reagan, a physio working in Paediatrics, talked to us about the impact of the work on patients – “Children are really enjoying it, even the older kids – although it’s a cartoon, it’s realistic and this can be really helpful:
For example, we can use it to engage patients during treatment by getting them to point to different animals.
We have had positive feedback from parents and children of all ages”.
Once the designs had been agreed for Paediatrics, ideas went backwards and forwards for the other areas. Gemma told us “We wanted to incorporate a mix of pictures and motivational quotes”.
“The waiting room not only looks lovely but is also less clinical which is what we wanted to achieve. Once the artwork was up, everybody who comes in gets that wow factor”.
The gym ties in with the waiting room but has the added bonus of being motivational.
We talked to Harriet, team leader physiotherapist, about patient response to the new department and she told us “As patients walk in, there’s a real wow factor. Because it’s focused on nature, it creates a calm atmosphere and takes away from the normal hospital clinical look. Everybody is really impressed with it. Even adult patients comment on the paediatric work. It has gone down really well with patients who love the motivational quotes – looking at these distracts attention away from the clinical nature of the department”.
The project was funded through the hospital’s charitable fund – the Royal Orthopaedic Charity.
The Royal Orthopaedic Charity told us: “When we were approached to fund the artwork for the newly relocated Physiotherapy and Podiatry Departments, we enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity. Providing artwork to elevate patient experience and fuel their motivational journey towards recovery aligned perfectly with ROC’s goal to improve patient experience. Most off the shelf designs are geared to workout gyms, whereas this is a rehabilitation gym, so we wanted to support a positive feel to the space to help patients on their journey to recovery whilst encouraging them to challenge themselves to reach their goals. It’s an investment that truly counts in promoting a supportive environment for patients’ well-being.” To find out more about the Royal Orthopaedic Charity, please visit: rohcharity.org.
Gemma told us: We submitted a bid to charitable funds and they started the ball rolling with Grosvenor Interiors. In the planning phase, Grosvenor Interiors listened to our ideas and feedback and took on board everything we said. The finished design has definitely achieved our objective – in fact, the impact for patients and visitors has been much greater than we had expected. It has also been a real positive move for staff – it’s a much nicer environment to work in compared to before”.