Serving 2.4 million people across the North West, this large state of the art 9 storey building is the flagship of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust. Built at a cost of £155 million it delivers a wide range of highly-specialist services, including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy. It has state-of-the-art facilities for bone marrow transplant, diagnostics and imaging, as well as outpatients, day case treatments and a Teenage & Young Adult Unit.
The Trust were very clear on what they wished to achieve, but unsure of the approach needed to deliver it.
We recognised this and worked closely with the management team to agree a clearly defined brief and provide a detailed scope of work designed to meet their objectives which included:
We were able to demonstrate a successful track record of unrivaled experience in delivering similar projects.
In addition to demonstrating range of specialist skills, we offered a unique methodology containing a structured process developed from over 20 years experience in the field.
As Human beings we use in-built mechanisms to collect and process the information needed to make sense of our environments and aid navigation.
We use our knowledge of these processes to predict conditioned reactions to the unique character of the environment. We then use this knowledge to influence the user’s understanding through the information provided at every stage of the journey, mindful of their individual goals, stress levels and other factors.
In order to deliver a successful solution it was necessary to gain a complete understanding of all possible patient flows. This required a detailed understanding of the building, all its operations, processes and departmental interactions. We worked with the Trust to assemble a key Stakeholder Group, representative of all parts of the operation, each with specific knowledge of their own practices and requirements. We then used the collective information gathered to build a strategy which explained the space and how to use it, in the most intuitive way.
This stakeholder engagement was crucial to success as it allowed members to appreciate how their individual actions would impact on others and the facility as a whole. This mutual understanding allowed a more collective responsibility to develop, which helped avoid conflicts and unnecessary complication. As such, it was instrumental in achieving a far simpler and more effective solution.
"Behaviour determines culture, and culture determines behaviour".
Our methodology shows that only by identifying and understanding current mistakes and bringing them to the attention of the Trust, could we ensure they are not repeated.
Although The Liverpool centre was a brand new building, it was to be managed by the same team that operate the existing Wirral site. Therefore, it was inevitable much of the same departmental structures and culturally influenced behaviour would transfer across unless there was a conscious effort to do otherwise. For this reason, it was vital we examine the current situation.
Although not fully understood by the Trust at first, this part of the process was soon recognised as a vital element, as it highlighted a number of important issues that fundamentally influenced the final outcome.
Life is easy when everything is perfect. However, we operate in the real world which presents challenges and sometimes you have no choice but to play the hand you've been dealt.
However, it is at times like these that we get the opportunity to prove our worth and deliver even greater value by recognising and solving potential issues before they become problems, or providing a solution to minimise any negative impact.
Clatterbridge presented us with just such a challenge. We were brought in at a stage where it was already too late to influence some key decisions. Originally conceived to reflect levels within the linked but yet to be completed Liverpool Royal, the level identification strategy proved challenging to comprehend. As a major influence on behaviour, the absence of a logical level sequence could have caused significant confusion had the issue not been addressed.
Our solution was to introduce a location based strategy using a sequential numbering system as the main means of identification for each destination. Crucially, this sequence was unique to each level. Although the building's designated means of level identification was included at the lift, the buttons were primarily referenced to the location sequence, allowing users to select the correct button without the need to reference a level.
The decision to deliver a location based strategy was also in response to lessons learned from the Wirral site, where patients struggled to comprehend a strategy heavily influenced by clinical terminology.
The resulting solution was not only successful in overcoming the levels issue but also proved hugely popular with patients who found it far easier to understand and follow.
There are many important factors to consider before a decision is made. As wayfinding consultants, we are here to help you with that decision and advise you on the direction to take for the greatest benefit.
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