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Reducing Violence and Aggression in A&E

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Reducing Violence and Aggression in Accident & Emergency

The School of Management's Dr Alistair Brandon-Jones and Dr Nigel Caldwell form part of a project hoping to reduce levels of violence and aggression in Accident & Emergency departments across the country.

Violence and aggression in A&E is a major cost to the the NHS, so in May 2011 the Department of Health and the Design Council commissioned a multi-disciplinary team led by PearsonLloyd Design Ltd to explore cheap design solutions that could ease patient frustration and help make casualty units calmer for everyone.

Alistair and Nigel were brought on board to provide expertise relating to service design, operations and supply management. In conducting much of the project's primary research, they spent time interviewing and shadowing medical staff, and observing patients in an attempt to study the A&E process from the patient perspective.

The team has now developed a series of prototype designs intended to help make patients feel less alienated and prevent factors that could potentially trigger aggression or violence in the casualty unit. These include a system of environmental signage called 'slices', which gives clear, location-specific information, and screens that provide live and dynamic information about how cases are being handled. Everything has been designed to be simple and low-cost to implement, and to avoid creating physical barriers between patients and staff.

Alistair said:
"Patients are generally most aggrieved when they don't know what's going on or why they're having to wait. The team's recommendations aim to provide a simple and better way of greeting and communicating with patients."

The project also provides specific advice about lighting, decor and seating for managers who might be planning significant refurbishments. Two NHS trusts are currently implementing some of the recommendations, with a third expected to do so shortly. If these pilots are successful, then it is hoped that the ideas will be rolled out across the NHS.

For more information, see the project homepage.

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General Notes For Editors:

The School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools. Currently ranked 1st for Student Experience (Times Higher Education 2015) and 1st for Business Studies (The Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2016), we are a leading centre for management research - placed 8th in the UK in the latest REF2014.

We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development's quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976.

The centrality of research to teaching is an essential feature of all our programmes. The School offers a full range of programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate up to PhD level and post-experience programmes including the world-ranked Bath MBA. The School also provides tailored executive development programmes for middle and senior management.

The School of Management has a faculty of over 100 teaching and research staff, including visiting academics, with a professional support team of around 90 managerial and administrative staff. Research income averages £2 million per annum. There are approximately 2,400 students in total comprising some 150 MBA students, over 500 Master’s students, 250 full- and part-time research students, and over 1500 undergraduates following BSc degrees.