For most patients, and particularly
children, hospitals are about pain, anxiety and unfamiliarity.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have just
brought out a report this month, emphasising the need to consult
children in every sphere of hospital life.
A research project developed by the University of
Birmingham’s School of Health Sciences has already been doing
precisely that, and feeding the results back into the design of a
new hospital’s paediatric wards, so other children will be
happier in them.
The new ‘University Hospital’, managed by University
Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, is being built on
the Walsgrave hospital site. And for the first time, children and
young people are having their say in the design of the next phase
In all, sixty children of all ages and their parents were
interviewed about what they would like in the new unit and given
different materials to help stimulate their responses. The results
have included some radical ideas and designs, which are now being
fed back to the Hospital’s planning team.
Doing the research first means the architects are able to design
around what children are really asking for, rather than
what they think children need.