Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
CW+, the hospital’s charity, commissioned us to create a calm and informal environment in the new paediatric A&E waiting area that would help reduce the anxiety all family members experience when coming in with a child who needs treatment.
Shadowing staff in the original waiting area, we identified the need to zone the areas of the waiting room to assist staff in managing and supporting the waiting families. Design concepts that we intuitively know – soft lighting, art and nature being calming and beneficial to the patient experience were also credibly researched by the team from CW+. Our new waiting room supports this research and provides a relaxing space for parents, with welcome distractions for children.
Inspired by the contour lines on a map, we used organic shapes and colours to naturally mimic hills and bays, using floor graphics and coloured LED wall washes to give visual identity to each zone. Custom designed low-level seating in informal arrangements offers clear line of sight for clinicians, comfort for families and plenty of space for pushchairs and playing children. Curved timber with radius edges are tactile and helps prevent bumps and bruises on sharp corners.
With modern infection safe fabrics in a palette to match the design scheme, and minimal footprints, cleaning is fast and effective. Design features such as interactive screens and charging ports for phones help retain an informal feel where patients and families can relax and staff are able to provide the best support.