Cartoon characters help families find their way around children's hospital


Posted on Tuesday 16 April 2013
Evelina characters - finding Puffin

The ‘Evelina Gang’ are cartoon characters who welcome young patients and their families and help them find their way around the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

This project was developed with the help of patients and children at the Evelina hospital school who took part in workshops to create the ‘Evelina Gang’ – who now direct patients and their families to different areas of the hospital.

The colourful, child-friendly characters fill the walls and windows, and even direct families with buggies or wheelchairs to the most suitable lifts.

“It’s been incredibly successful,” said Alastair Gourlay, Programme Director of Estate Development at the Trust. “The huge characters are hard to miss, and are much more child-friendly than standard signs. Hospitals can be daunting and confusing places, so we wanted to make it easy and stress-free for our young patients and their families to navigate their way around the hospital.”

The Trust’s wayfinding strategy is used as the leading example across the NHS and in overseas hospitals.

When the hospital was built in 2005, the original wayfinding designs included colourful pictures for each floor and lift signs. They were developed with the help of children, their families, and staff. Each floor was themed with fun, non-clinical names, such as ‘ocean’, ‘beach’, ‘forest’ and ‘arctic’. However, it became clear that families found it challenging to find their way around some areas of the hospital so this project was commissioned to find a novel and child-friendly solution to work alongside the existing wayfinding designs.

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