NHS, Hospitals & Healthcare

Connecting people anywhere

Our Expertise

Our specialist Healthcare consultants have worked successfully with numerous major UK NHS Trusts, healthcare bodies, individual specialist hospitals and care centres to provide a wide range of successful solutions to meet a variety of needs.

Work has ranged from the successful transformation of the wayfinding strategies of major acute NHS hospitals, to the production of wayfinding guidelines for their management and control.

Our consultants are unique in being able to claim they are the only wayfinding experts in the UK who have removed every single wayfinding related sign from a major acute (working) NHS Hospital and replaced them with a completely new and effective strategy. A process now repeated successfully many times.

Our experience across the entire healthcare sector offers a unique insight into your world. This means we not only understand your problems, but we know exactly how to identify the causes and structure the solution.

Understanding the Challenges

Hospitals are by their very nature often extremely complex environments, further complicated by the stress and anxiety associated with visiting. For this reason, exceptional wayfinding is essential for them to work effectively. It must therefore be a fundamental part of any Trusts communications strategy.

As wayfinders, our task is to answer the operational demands, while finding the perfect balance of consideration and care. Our experience has proved that focussing on the individual is the only way to succeed in both. For it is only when the user’s needs are met will they reach their objectives, so the operation can work effectively.

At Wayfinder Associates we understand your challenges and we know how to help you overcome them .

People generally visit hospitals for two reasons. Either because the person they are with or visiting is sick, or they are sick themselves. This gives rise to a challenging set of circumstances. Each will result in heightened levels of stress which is one of the main causes of disorientation and confusion.

As specialist hospital wayfinders, we understand the impact of stress and other factors on the human cognitive processes; Indeed, missed appointments cost the average NHS trust over £3M per annum.

Studies have revealed that a significant amount of productive time is lost to clinical staff each day because of unnecessary interaction with patients and visitors. The vast majority of which happens in corridors, when they are asked for directions by members of the public.

The average person’s understanding of clinical terminology can be limited and their ability to associate between department names and the procedures they perform weaker still. These issues are a major cause of confusion, as users struggle to relate hospital language to their reason for being on site.

We know that change is constant and inevitable. We know wards and departments merge, relocate and change their names on a regular basis and we know the potentially damaging impact it can have if not handled correctly.

Providing the solution

At Wayfinder Associates we aim to deliver legible inclusive environments. We believe passionately that if a user needs help, no matter what it is, it should be provided as part of a single solution for all and not as an add on or addition that risks to marginalise or disempower.

Essentially, we look to place the user on rails, so every element of their thinking and every part of their journey appears intuitive. From the forward journey planning information provided in an appointment letter, or on the website, to how the information is structured and displayed on site, all elements must link seamlessly together.

Not only must the user be able to reach their primary objective with ease, but they must be given a structure which allows them to orientate themselves effectively within the space, so they can move effortlessly from any given point to another.

The information displayed on site must conform to a strictly controlled information hierarchy and its placement never subjective. Environmental constraints must never be allowed to control the information, instead a structure must be developed that takes into account all these issues, so sign trails never falter, routes are never restricted and the placement of information never selective.

At Wayfinder Associates we understand hospitals and our specialist knowledge and techniques allow us to deliver solutions capable of overcoming these challenges to ensure success long into the future.