11th February 2016 – Making it easier for patients to find their way around Airedale Hospital
A new signage system is being introduced at Airedale Hospital to help patients find their way around the site more easily. This is because the hospital has developed significantly causing the existing signs to be outdated.
Around 900 signs, both internal and external, are being replaced between Monday 29 February and Friday 11 Marchby Nuneaton Signs. The project started around 18 months ago and the trust employed experts Wayfinder Uk Ltd, who have worked with other hospitals, train stations, universities and airports using a proven methodology, to support it.The signs are an interchangeable panel system that can easily be updated.
“It is a huge change but we hope it will benefit our patients who often find our site confusing the first time they visit the hospital,” said David Moss, interim deputy director of strategy, business development, estates and facilities at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.
“Our new system is well-thought out, consistent and we have involved patients in our planning process to make sure it is easy to use.”
John Lofthouse, section leader of the guides and member of the wayfinding group, said: “It may take a little time for some people to get used to the new signage but I feel sure it will help all patients and visitors in the future.
“However if there is anyone who still does need help that the guides are there to provide assistance.”
During March, 10 information points with a map of the hospital site and department directory will be clearly positioned at the entrances and major junctions in the hospital. The site will be split into four zones; A to D, and each ward or department will be given a location reference number. Visitors will be able to consult an alphabetical list of wards and departments on the maps to find its location reference number, for example, the maternity ward 21 will be located at zone B – B18 and the Emergency Department x-ray will be zone A – A4. Car parking areas will also have numbers to make them easy to locate.
All the hospital’s patient letters have been reviewed and amended to be consistent with the new signage. This will give patients clear directions to the place they need to be.
From the beginning of March, additional volunteer guides will be on hand to help patients find their way during the transition period. Paul King, estates officer for this project, will be training the volunteers in getting to know the new system throughout the installation of the signage. A downloadable version of the site map and department directory will be available on our website at www.airedale-trust.nhs.uk. Local taxi companies; ambulance, police and fire services and partner organisations have been provided with details, a new site map and department directory.