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Graphic designers challenged to stop A&E abuse

by: isev

on: 22nd November, 2011

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The NHS has come up with a new plan to tackle abuse of staff by patients through improved design of waiting areas and clear information about waiting times.

This project comes following a report on Health service workers that showed almost 60,000 assaults on staff between 2010-2011, an increase of over 1000 on the year before. These attacks also cost the NHS some £69 million every year.

The year long project will see psychologists and the Design Council, including graphic designers, working together to produce budget solutions to decrease the amount of violent attacks on NHS staff.

The aim of the plan is to make sure patients feel they have all the information they need and improving communication regarding waiting times.

This could be as simple as having clearer signs and introducing bus-stop style screens keeping people up to date with the waiting times and the volume of patients being seen in A&E.

Design Council head David Kester said: ‘This is design at its best – solving a long-standing, high-cost problem through creativity, simplicity and collaboration.

‘For not much more than £60,000 hospitals can now quickly and easily install this system which could significantly reduce the burden of aggression from patients.’

The plans will now be tested in three NHS Foundation Trusts – Chesterfield Royal Hospital, University Hospital Southampton and Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London.

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