CHANGING CANCER CARE
JCA worked with healthcare experts HCP on a study for the McMillan charity into how design can help achieve new levels of dignity, privacy, comfort and delight in the provision of palliative care and chemotherapy units. This cross cutting evaluation covered three distinct areas: privacy and dignity, infection control and a review of information and support centres, and established a number of key findings.
Single room accommodation with en suite facilities for every patient helps to secure privacy and dignity as well as reducing risk of cross contamination and increasing infection control. The additional challenge is how to provide easy and comfortable social inclusion necessary for successful palliative care. Other key patient preferences emphasised the need for choice and flexibility, accommodation for friends and relatives, a greater degree of personal control over immediate environment and the importance of access to outside space.
JCA provided detailed design proposals for discussion and further development.
We looked in detail at the ways in which a space might be designed to offer patients a range of choices from the privacy to combinations of two, three or four way socialising. We proposed an semi-open plan lounge furnished with large armchair/recliners, creating a warm and inviting space optionally divided by adjusting nearby screens as the patient sees fit. We used the business/first class airplane cabin as the starting point for this, developing screens and panels to provide the required flexibility.
This work has the potential for further development to advance the Macmillan philosophy and the very clear messages which the report identified.