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MIMA School of Art & Design

Creative students have designs on enhancing patient experience

19 December 2019 @TeessideUni

 

Students from Teesside University’s MIMA School of Art & Design are involved in a project to help enhance patient experience at Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

Second year BA (Hons) Interior Design and BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design students were invited by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust to create ideas to redesign clinical areas used by patients visiting the Emergency and Outpatients departments at the Eye Infirmary.

The students visited the hospital earlier this year when they toured and identified areas for potential improvement in design to enhance patient experience.

Later they took part in a workshop with hospital staff, including doctors and nurses and representatives from RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), as well as estates representatives from the trust, who helped them to formulate a design brief.

After creating five designs, the students recently presented their ideas to the trust. The students’ designs will be on display at the Eye Infirmary for comment from doctors, nurses and patients.

Richard Sober, Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer, said: 'The trust was looking at ways to enhance accessibility and to create spaces which are calming and pleasant to be in, especially for patients with visual impairments.

'The project has given the students real world specialist knowledge of designing for accessibility, visual impairment and infection controlled environments, retaining the creative core of their ideas.'

The Emergency and Outpatients departments of Sunderland Eye Infirmary are busy areas based in an older building. Patients accessing these spaces often have impaired vision. The challenge for the students was to make these patient areas more welcoming and functional, taking into account the needs of the users.

A number of Eye Infirmary staff, as well as members of the Trust’s Innovation Team, were able to attend the recent student presentations and they were all very impressed by the students’ designs. The posters are now at the Eye infirmary where they are receiving feedback from staff and patients.

It has been a rewarding project to be involved in

MIMA School of Art & Design student Beth Dear

The aim is to develop a single design to be implemented by the Trust, which describes the collaboration as ‘a positive experience’. It is already reviewing other areas which may benefit from the ‘Teesside University treatment’.

Mrs Deepali Varma, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Deputy Director of Innovation at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'We were extremely impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity shown by the Teesside University design students. This is an excellent example of collaboration between NHS and university to enhance patient experience while giving hands on experience to talented students.' Leanda French, Interior Design course leader, said 'The feedback the students received about their designs was incredibly positive. The students came up with some amazing ideas and came across incredibly well in their presentations.

'The experience the project has provided for the students is invaluable and we are already in discussions about a future project into neo-natal environment design.'

Beth Dear, who is studying at MIMA School of Art & Design, said: 'The project provided a great experience to work with a real client, which meant it was crucial that we designed to the client’s needs and requirements.

'As the project involved a healthcare brief, it also provided experience of designing to complex requirements. We were able visit the site, which was important to enable us to see the space we would be working with and also meet to healthcare professionals.

'It has been a rewarding project to be involved in, knowing we are potentially designing a space which could help to make part of a person’s day that little bit better.'


In the News

Students have designs on enhancing infirmary
Shields Gazette, p.22, 14/01/2020
A project to help enhance patient experience at Sunderland Eye Infirmary has been embraced by students from Teesside University's School of Art and Design.


University students have designs on hospital
Sunderland Echo, p.22, 14/01/2020
A project to help enhance patient experience at Sunderland Eye Infirmary has been embraced by students from Teesside University's School of Art and Design.


Design students offering support for eye infirmary
Darlington and Stockton Times. p.42, 03/01/2020
Students from Teesside University's MIMA School of Art and Design are helping to improve the experience for people with sight problems visiting a North-East hospital.


Students' support for eye infirmary
Northern Echo, p.4, 19/12/2019
Students from Teesside University's MIMA School of Art and Design are helping to improve the experience for people with sight problems visiting a North East hospital.