Southmead ICU,
North Bristol NHS Trust

Graphics to improve visitor information, brighten up corridors and simplify wayfinding.

Southmead Equipment
Icu Entrance

how do you help reassure families at the most stressful time?

The ICU at Southmead Hospital is a large, purpose built 48 bed Unit – one of the busiest in the country. This can be a frightening experience for patients’ families and visitors often arrive disoriented and overwhelmed.

The ICU clinical team empathised with this. They wanted a way to help families better understand what was going on for their loved ones in intensive care - why this beeping, what’s that machine, what’s happening? 

They recognised that simple, visual graphics could improve the experience - to better orientate, inform and help people to understand this confusing environment. 

Our graphics

We developed a suite of graphics for Southmead ICU, including:
• ICU equipment diagrams in one of the central spaces

• Welcome and information signs with a local feel

• Large-format wall art and printed leaflets. 

Southmead Equipblue
Southmead Info
Pod Entrance
Pod Entranced

the impact

Clear signage and explanations in plain english improved the ICU visitor experience. The local feel helps visitors relax, connecting the building more strongly to the community. And better understanding of the ICU environment reduces anxiety for family, carers and patients at a difficult and stressful time.

who we worked with

Dr Stephen M Robinson MBBS MRCP FRCA FICM, Consultant in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care

Julie Izzard, Matron

Ruth Sidgewick, Arts Programme Manager

Funded by

Southmead Hospital ICU Charity

“Feedback has been extremely positive and this visual approach to communication has now been rolled out across other units across the Hospital. Staff particularly appreciate the improvement in their working environment – a transformation to the hospital experience for all.”