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Ben de Lisi to design functional clothes for hospital
Feb '10
Top British designers and architects are working with the NHS to improve the experience of patients in hospital. As part of this groundbreaking new project 'Design for Patient Dignity' the Department of Health has teamed up with the Design Council to bring together some of the best minds in the design industry with those working on the frontline in the NHS.

Six teams of leading UK product, interiors, fashion and systems designers, architects and manufacturers have been appointed to work on an exciting range of briefs that will help to improve the hospital environment and patient experience. The work follows extensive research into what issues matter most to patients, staff and experts and will focus on:

• New ward layouts
• New products which help provide greater privacy for patients within the ward
• New patient gowns which improve patient dignity
• More dignified toileting and washing facilities
• New ways of improving the physical and emotional security of patients being transferred within hospitals

The teams are working intensively with patients, experts, hospital staff and others to make some of their ideas a reality and to develop prototypes, which will be unveiled in March 2010, with the aim of introducing the designs into hospitals by early 2011.

Health Minister Ann Keen said:
'As a nurse, I know that patients expect and deserve not only high quality, safe and effective care, but a dignified experience when they go into hospital.

'The Design for Patient Dignity Programme is a groundbreaking initiative – it provides an opportunity for designers and manufacturers in the UK and those working at the frontline of patient care to work together to help improve the patient experience, as well as boosting industry investment and jobs in the UK.

'We want to ensure that patients' experience of the NHS goes from good to great and that is why we are looking to improve privacy and dignity for patients in innovative ways.'

David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council, said:

'Greater privacy and dignity are amongst patients' biggest concerns when they enter hospital. By bringing designers, manufacturers, patients and experts together, we are helping transform the hospital experience for millions. This is a great example of how design is improving life in Britain with new thinking, made real.'

The design teams, which will be looking for design solutions to the set challenges, include the renowned fashion and commercial uniform designer, Ben de Lisi and Pearson Lloyd - responsible for the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Super Seats. They were appointed following a nationwide search for designers and specialist manufacturers who could together develop designs, as well as create prototypes and put them into full-scale production for introduction to hospitals.

Over sixty design teams applied to the challenge, and were judged by a panel of the UK's most respected experts in design, patient care, hospital management and nursing.

The project is part of a programme of works by the Department of Health to improve patient privacy, dignity and care experience. A Dignity Action Day on February 25 and a £50,000 Bright Ideas Grant for projects that encourage dignity in care will also be introduced.

Department of Health

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