Any architect or project manager already understands the challenge when it comes to making hospitals both clinical and less intimidating – after all, those concepts don’t go hand-in-hand. While there are certain standards and requirements for the specific medical areas of hospitals, and a need for easy and practical cleaning, that doesn’t have to mean your hospital space is unfriendly. Here are just three ways to create communal-friendly spaces to add a more positive and communal atmosphere to your public spaces that are sure to promote a friendlier feel overall:
1. Offer designation between clinical and social
While medical rooms, surgical spaces and more have strict rules and requirements, the same can’t be said for more social spaces. Staff rooms, ample waiting spaces and even cafes or coffee shops can all be used to achieve a friendlier atmosphere while remaining on-brand for a hospital. Consider replacing worn-out furniture with something brighter and hardwearing, and designating spaces with smart colour selection; blue for quiet or calm areas, yellow and oranges for food areas and greens for inclusive social spaces. Your hospital areas will soon look far more welcoming, as well as being easier to spot for all visitors.
2. Use furniture to design open spaces
Many hospitals continue to be 70s throwbacks, filled with warrens of rooms and tight corridors. But opening up that space a little in certain areas can be an excellent way to add style and reduce that sense of claustrophobia that individual spaces can bring. The use of high-quality screens, benches and even strategically placed chairs can allow open spaces to have better use without reducing their functionality overall. This is ideal for visitor waiting rooms or even rest spaces outside wards or specific hospital areas, providing structure without detracting from purpose.
3. Provide comfort without sacrificing functionality
While a great deal of hospital furniture is highly functional and quick to clean, it’s also not welcoming. Investing in comfortable furniture, such as sofas and armchairs, for spaces with longer waits or where patients are more likely to attend with a friend or family member, can quickly add warmth to previously cold areas. Wipe-clean, hygienic options provide that level of comfort without sacrificing the need for sterile environments, and investing in some built-in children’s activities in waiting spaces can ensure children are occupied at the same time.
While the main priority of hospitals isn’t necessarily to provide comforting spaces, these communal-friendly ideas can make the difference when it comes to meeting the expectations of the public today, as well as offering an enjoyable environment for visitors in general.
Communal-friendly spaces in hospitals – where to find out more
If you’d like to learn more about how healthcare furniture can help create communal-friendly spaces in hospitals & healthcare facilities, please get in touch.
Read case studies about furniture contracts we’ve completed for several hospitals & healthcare facilities throughout the UK.
At David Bailey Furniture Systems, we have have helped architects and contractors design fitted furniture for the hospital and other healthcare environments for over 35 years. Our factory is in Broadstairs, Kent in the UK and we have provided furniture for many NHS hospitals and private hospitals, including Wexham Park, Guy’s & St Thomas’, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Spire Hospitals and University College London Hospital (UCLH), as well as many regional hospitals, GP surgeries and health clinics around England and Wales.