Remodelling creates new emergency care pathway at London hospital
Artwork is used to help with wayfinding and to reassure young patients
ADP and Logan Construction have completed a major remodelling of one of London’s busiest hospitals to create a new emergency care pathway on a dedicated emergency floor.
The work at St Thomas’ Hospital will ensure that patients are cared for safely and efficiently, in a brighter, more-comfortable environment.
A new clinical decisions unit is the last phase to be finished in a programme that brings together a new majors area, 62 acute assessment ward beds, emergency paediatric services, a children’s short-stay unit, and a centralised urgent care centre.
The new resuscitation area, with larger treatment cubicles and dedicated trauma and isolation rooms, now sits in the heart of the department.
The emergency department at St Thomas’ sees more than 140,000 patients each year, including 27,000 children.
By co-locating all emergency services in one zone, patients can be directed to the relevant area depending on the severity of their needs.
Patients with less-serious conditions will be treated by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners.
Artwork funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ charity and developed with Art in Site, arts consultants, was implemented to create a welcoming environment and help patients navigate their way to the right area.
Departments are divided by colour and well-known London landmarks, helping people to identify with their surroundings.
This was important in humanising clinical environments, which, combined with integrated patient information, makes them more legible to reduce stress and anxiety.
The work brings emergency services together to improve the patient pathway
The integration of information into the care pathway is inspired by the Design Council publication Reducing Violence and Aggression in A&E – through a better experience.
In the paediatric emergency care department, ADP worked with Art in Site and the user team to integrate cartoon characters and local landmarks created by Japanese artist, Kiriko.
Taking the ouch out of A&E, is designed to communicate to children that they are safe and being cared for, and to distract them during difficult or painful procedures. The graphics also enable children to learn about their body and their illness and how to stay healthy and safe.
The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) enabled the team to co-ordinate and speed up the design process and allow eight separate user groups to understand and approve the design as it developed.
ADP designed a number of standard components with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ team to allow shared use and flexibility and ensure futureproofing.
ADP worked with Logan Construction to keep the department in live operational use throughout each phase of development.
Clinical lead, Dr Katherine Henderson, said: “Our new department will improve the quality of care as well as the overall experience of patients requiring emergency treatment.
“I am incredibly proud of the fact that such a huge redevelopment has been carried out while existing emergency services have remained open 24 hours a day and can’t thank our staff enough for their patience and dedication.”
Dr Simon Eccles, consultant in emergency medicine who led work to transform the emergency care at St Thomas’, said: “We now have state-of-the-art facilities to help us treat increasing numbers of patients, but this project wasn’t just about increasing capacity.
“By creating a new emergency floor we have been able to improve the patient journey for all our patients by ensuring we have the right facilities to treat them all in one place.”