The Department of Health and the Design Council commissioned PearsonLloyd to look at how design could reduce levels of violence and aggression in Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments.
Rather than attempting to address all the causes of violent and aggressive incidents, the studio looked specifically at how design can make improvements to A&E environments, systems and services.
According to Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd’s research, much of A&E violence is triggered by confusion among patients in the hospital environment and their perception that they are not getting good healthcare. From this, the designers developed a guidance package that communicates essential information to checked-in patients, including how the A&E department works, and live updates on personal waiting times. The core element of the package is a process map that illustrates to the patient what to expect at each stage of their experience at A&E.
The second part of the project focusses on how to engage staff and give them insight into treating patients with the utmost respect and dignity. This part of the programme encourages staff to log violent and aggressive incidents and discuss and reflect on their experiences.
Pilots are on-going in London and Southampton, and while conclusions are yet to be reached, to date two hospitals have installed PearsonLloyd’s system based on positive feedback.