PearsonLloyd has worked and consulted for healthcare institutes including the NHS and the Royal National Institute for the Deaf since 2007, exploring how design as a practice can act beyond the aesthetic realm, to influence behaviour and make services work better. Through a process of cross-disciplinary collaboration, vigorous research, workshops, and on-site piloting, the studio ensures the solutions it proposes are highly effective and economical, with the goal of encouraging hospitals and healthcare institutes to budget for interventions that could greatly improve the experience of patients and end-users.
One in 10 NHS staff experiences violence at the hands of patients or their relatives each year, costing an estimated £69m annually. PearsonLloyd was commissioned by the Design Council to explore potential solutions to this problem.
According to the studio’s research, much of this violence is triggered by confusion among patients in the A&E environment, and the perception that they are not getting good care.
The designers developed a guidance package that communicates essential information to those checked-in, including how the department works, and live updates on personal waiting times. Based on an extensive evaluation at two pilot Trusts, the solutions are proven to better the patient experience, reduce hostility and save money.
The public facing system is supplemented with a programme that encourages staff to log violent and aggressive incidents and discuss and reflect on their experiences with colleagues, in order to provide a culture of support and spot potential behavioural patterns.
PearsonLloyd was commissioned by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and the Design Council to re-think and re-design the commode, as part of Design Bugs Out. The studio reduced the product to two parts; the legs and shell, both of which are stackable to save space, and streamlined, to remove nooks and crannies that make existing models unhygienic and difficult to clean.
In 2009 the NHS and Design Council launched an open initiative ‘Design for Patient Dignity’, to tackle issues with transfer and mobility. The result is a collection of products: a poncho, a bay screen and a day chair. The studio observed that the standard patient gown covers only the front half of the body, leaving the patient exposed, so a poncho was designed that reduces this indignity. It is easy to put on and get off – even in a chair – and the lack of sleeves enables easy administration of treatment from drips.
The curtain or partition system for separating patients in wards presents two problems: patients feel shut off from medical staff when the curtains are closed, and when they are open they are exposed to other sick patients, and compromise their privacy. PearsonLloyd’s bay screen is angled from the side-walls so patients can communicate and have contact with passing staff, besides having a sense of enclosed personal space.
PearsonLloyd’s research found that patients are often too ill to use a chair – slumping forward or slipping out of it – or not ill enough to use a bed. The hybrid Day Chair rotates from a traditional chair posture into a reclined or forward tilt position. As such, the patient is stabilised, reducing the need for more expensive and immobile hospital beds.
This project, commissioned by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in London responds to a brief to explore the potential technological and cultural shifts that that could take place in the hearing aid market over the next ten years. PearsonLloyd’s customisable Universal Hear-ring proposal repositions the hearing aid as a lifestyle produce, akin to spectacles.