Design School

Working with us

Standardising emergency ambulance interiors to improve patient safety and care
Standardising emergency ambulance interiors to improve patient safety and care
Standardising emergency ambulance interiors to improve patient safety and care

Reducing NHS costs and improving patient care

  • Revolutionising the design and use of ambulance and vehicle equipment

Research conducted within Loughborough Design School's Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre has helped the NHS save £2.5million over three years - whilst improving patient safety.

The research, primarily focused on the ergonomics of the design and use of ambulance and vehicle equipment, has been pioneered by one of the School’s ergonomics experts, Dr Sue Hignett.

Before 2006, NHS Ambulance Trusts around the UK produced their own vehicle specifications for design. This resulted in more than 40 designs for emergency ambulances in the UK.

The various interior layouts meant healthcare workers lost valuable time looking for essential equipment whilst responding to emergencies.

In 2005, the Department of Health set out a vision for the provision of future ambulance services. By 2010, they wanted to increase the range and quality of mobile healthcare services for patients with urgent and emergency care needs.

Substantial research grants and support from a number of sources, including the Department for Health and the EPSRC, have allowed Dr Hignett and her colleagues to engage in a 10-year research programme examining emergency and urgent care vehicles and equipment.

The work has had a far-reaching impact on society - providing tangible benefits not only to healthcare workers, but to those assisted by the UK’s ambulance fleet every day.

Impact

  • Financial benefits 

    The research has helped the NHS save £25million over three years.

  • Standardisation 

    The standard layout of vehicle makes it easier for healthcare workers to work more efficiently.

  • Patient safety 

    The work has resulted in improved patient safety and care nationwide.