Young people and healthcare. Part I: Experience of the hospital environment.
National Health Service policy in the UK recommends that the hospital built environment should cater for the needs of younger and older children, adolescents and carers. However, previous studies have indicated that it is a challenge to address the needs of such a wide age range, and that hospital design and systems typically are more age-appropriate for young children than for adolescents. The aim of the present study is to explore how adolescents who have not been regular patients experience the hospital environment. Using a qualitative methodology, we explore the responses of four young people who participated in a hospital intervention study. Results suggest that a paediatric ward designed specifically for adolescents was experienced positvely by participants. Other areas of the hospital serving a wide age range of patients (Emergency Department and Radiography, for example) were not experienced as positively. Implications for hospital design, staff training and future research are explored.
This collaborative project with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust was commissioned by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust and managed by the Real Ideas Organisation.