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Hospital Curtains Project

Design Researcher: Timothy Boxall

Executive Summary

Hospital curtains are a ubiquitous single-use plastic product used at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and across the NHS. They are lightweight and are not furnished with any closing mechanism that enable patients’ privacy and support their dignity. As space is at a premium in hospitals, each bed space is also limited and staff moving around the patients continue to pull and drag the curtains to readjust them. Often this is done whilst wearing gloves used to attend to the  patients. This means the curtains are problematic in terms of infection control as well as patient privacy and dignity.

Through a collaborative project between Brunel Design and GSTT, sponsored by the Trust Charity and Brunel University London, an alternative solution for the hospital curtain has been identified through 6 user-centred design iterations and including 60 users with different expertise in the Trust. The proposed system, Amelio, consists of several components that enable appropriate closure of the curtains, unambiguous communication regarding respecting patients’ privacy, temporary extension of the bed space to host equipment, and the extension of the lifespan of the current single plastic curtains.

Two phases of the project are outlined below, please click the box to download a detailed summary of each phase. 

A visual summary of the project can be found here