Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Date started: 
Organisation:  acute
Service:  children
Project:  A&E
The reception area before the project
The new design appeals to a wide range of ages
The Rosie and Jim boat in the soft play area


Accident and emergency (A&E) department.

Aims and outcomes

In refurbishing the A&E reception and waiting area, the team wanted to ensure that the design scheme would appeal to a wide age range, not just younger children. The existing design was felt to be dated and to lack interest, especially for adolescents.

A 'canal' theme was chosen and ideas were developed through consulting with children, parents and staff. The redesigned area provides dedicated space for young children and adolescents and has also helped staff improve patient management at reception.

In the area for younger children, a Rosie and Jim boat provides a focus for the canal theme and a previously underused corner has been transformed into a soft play area. The adolescent area resembles the coffee bars that have grown up along the canal areas in Birmingham and includes an area for reading and listening to hospital radio. At reception, the desk has been designed to be accessible to both children and adults.

Three artists were involved in the project - a woodcarver, a photographer and an artist who made a light box - and children worked with the photographer to choose photographs to match the design theme.

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