The new dedicated Breast Unit at Salisbury District Hospital has patient experience at its very core. A truly collaborative approach saw designers, staff and suppliers work with patients and their loved ones to map every step of a process that is one of the most difficult anyone can face. The unit combines the latest ideas in biophilic design for wellbeing with the smartest products and solutions, delivered with impeccable attention to detail. It captures the needs of all stakeholders and delivers without losing clinical quality.
The interiors were designed by ArtCare, the arts in health service for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, working collaboratively with staff and patients, and using floor and wall products from Altro. ArtCare’s Penny Calvert explains: “Decor can’t do anything about disease, but it can absolutely be used to make the best of the worst moment you are having – reducing anxiety has a huge impact on wellbeing. The designs are the culmination of more than a year’s worth of creative thinking and workshops with patients and staff, giving them the freedom to imagine how a space could be different.”
Key to the new £1m unit is the practice of same-day diagnosis – patients attending for tests to see if they have breast cancer receive a diagnosis that day, avoiding anxious waits for results. The unit is equipped with dedicated diagnostic equipment, treatment and counselling rooms enabling quicker care and treatment. Diagnosis and follow-up are delivered in one place with less need for patients to visit other departments in the hospital. And clinics are run jointly with oncologists and plastic reconstructive surgeons, meaning patients no longer need to visit the hospital as frequently.