Design Company Leads The Way

Cornwall based 20/20 has successfully completed a large scale "way-finding" project for the Royal Cornwall Hospital Truro (RCHT). 

20/20 won a competitive tender process to improve the patient environment and the way that patients and visitors journey through the hospital to find the departments and wards that they need.

The previous system was out of date and inefficient, so 20/20 underwent a design process to replace it with a system that would help counter the stressful experience of finding a particular ward within a large site. 

New visual directions have now simplified the patient and visitor journey with a system separating this site into four zones that are easily identified through colour coding.  A consistent family of environmental graphics and icons lead a visitor to the correct zone, building, floor, area and finally to the unit or ward - as information cascades down throughout the patient's journey.  Finally, large clear maps were developed which show visitors where they are and very simply
how to get to where they need to be.  

"Developing a clear way-finding solution for one of the largest sites in Cornwall is an exciting brief," says 20/20 Managing Director - Jaimie Sibert.

"One of the most important tools we used to solve the problem during the design process was patient and staff consultations.  We ran a series of roadshows and were involved in consultation groups enabling us to talk to as many people with different points of view as possible.  We listened to their experiences and got a real insight into the problems posed by the old system."

"Our consultation revealed that people struggled to find their way around the large building which could be stressful and confusing.  In particular, patients with dementia or a learning disability frequently found it especially difficult to locate the area that they needed, or to know where they were at any one time."

The new way-finding scheme is specifically designed to help to reduce these difficulties with the colour coding, icons and maps all working together.  20/20 worked with the Trust to alter the name of some of the wards to make them more user friendly and immediately recognisable, for example 'Ophthalmology' has become 'Eye Unit'.

The physical implementation of the new way-finding project was a challenge as the hospital remained a live working area throughout the process.  The wellbeing of patients and visitors was of paramount importance and subsequently the health and safety requirements were
stringent.  

Sharon Addinall, Patient Environment Manager for the RCHT said:

"Designing and implementing the new way-finding project was a huge undertaking and we are delighted with the result.  The new system makes the journey through the site so much easier for patients and visitors.
The graphic displays are attractive and easy to read, the colour coding simplifies the patient's journey and the icons ensure that people reach their end destination without extra stress." 

In addition, 20/20's new system is sustainable in that the graphics can be changed and the design can evolve, without the need for new installations, so saving costs in the future. 

This is the latest in 20/20's successful design and build projects that demand innovative solutions for projects. 

For more information about 20/20 please visit www.2020projects.co.uk

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