"departmental directions"

About: Borders General Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

On a visit with my wife to cardiology we found the signage around the hospital had been changed from plain English to colour coding. we wandered around for a while but could make no sense out of the directions, eventually finding a helpful member of staff who put us on track.

While waiting my wifes return I observed numerous people wandering around looking for various departments, and can only describe the experience to be like an observer in a home for the bewildered.

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Response from Susan Cowe, NHS Borders

Dear lostinspace,

I am disappointed that you found the signage system at the Borders General Hospital unhelpful. Our old signage was often criticised and had become very confusing itself over the life of the hospital.

We looked at various approaches, and included a lot of public/patient involvement in the process of developing the new signs. The new signage system, using floor levels and zone colours, is designed to allow patients and visitors to easily locate the wards and departments they require to attend, and it has been tried and tested in other acute hospitals. Our patient appointment letters now also include floor level and zone colour information to give patients advance notification of the location of the ward or department they are attending.

As well as introducing the new system we have worked hard to reduce the amount of “visual clutter” (posters, adverts etc) in the public areas of the hospital. Thank you for acknowledging the help of one of our staff.

We are aware that a number of people have found the new signage a little confusing, however on the whole feedback has been positive and the majority of patients and visitors appear feel it is an improvement on the old signage.

Warwick Shaw, Head of Delivery Support Estates and Facilities

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Update posted by lost in space (the patient)

On a further visit to this hospital it was just as confusing,and this time I had the opportunity to meet with some others that were of the same opinion as myself.and indeed so did a few members of staff who spend a lot of their valuable time redirecting bewildered patients and visitors to their respective departments.