The brief asked to combine the hospital’s three existing ophthalmology clinics in to one new specialist centre adjacent to the existing ophthalmic theatres. Key stakeholder meetings between staff and patients identified staff productivity, cost efficiency, better patient orientation and improved patient waiting times as design priorities in the new department.
New accommodation had to be delivered in an old and awkwardly laid out private ward. We developed a strategy of moving and creating a new entrance, aligning diagonally across the department to meet the existing hospital link on the other side. To signal the entrance a cantilevered canopy was added to increase the department’s visibility for approaching patients. All the clinics of the department sat on this new route, including a reception hub to create a clear navigation route for staff and patients, increasing staff efficiency and reducing patient waiting times.
The department was designed to have no steps, ramps or unnecessary obstructions that would hinder patients with poor or no eye sight. The signage is large and the artwork is colour coordinated to give each area its own identity, reassuring patients and making their navigation easier. Space for charity group Sight Support Derbyshire was also designed as part of the project, enabling it to provide support and essential services to the wider visually impaired community.
Shortlisted, Specialist Services Design, Building Better Healthcare Awards, 2012