In 2017 England’s Sheffield Children’s Hospital introduced a fresh approach to the design of their patient spaces. Designer Morag Myerscough began by creating miniature scale versions of existing rooms which incorporated a range of her proposed ideas. Feedback on her concepts was gathered from a sampling of clinicians, patients and their families. Initially, some of the staff were concerned that the bright colours she was recommending might be too jarring for the environment, however, 98% of the patients said they preferred a “joyous” space over a bland, clinical one.
In the end, four different designs were implemented. Each uses variations of brightness to address a range of ages and medical conditions. “Decorating wards and injecting colour into them does not only enhance the experience of patients, it helps the hospital save costs overall,” says project manager Cat Powell. Thankfully, institutional looking spaces with their somber colour palettes and impersonal furnishings are becoming a thing of the past. Hospital facilities continue to reevaluate all aspects of the care and recovery process as they learn more about the effectiveness of a holistic approach.