The statistic that everyday six young people living the UK are told they have cancer is sobering on its own. Add to that as patients, these young adults usually find themselves placed in a children’s ward or alongside elderly patients during treatment. They aren’t usually in a place surrounded by peers dealing with similar challenges. A wing at the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK aims to change that. The hospital enlisted London-based Two Create to design the Teenage Cancer Trust YPU (Young Persons Unit), a 12 patient ward including a study room, small cinema and cafe.
The design team began the project by interviewing a number of current patients about what sort of environment they wanted to spend time in which turned out to be a boutique hotel. Two Creative designed each of the six rooms with a unique theme including a 60′s Pop Art room and a NYC Loft, so patients returning for treatments could stay in different ones. Walls were painted dramatic hues and covered with die cut shapes which reflect the theme of each room. The metal wall panels behind each bed have shapes cut out of sheet magnet which patients can use to hang their own posters or photos. Everything the team selected including all the furniture needed to conform to the hospital’s strict cleanliness standards.
The project was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust which is working to build a network of facilities like this one across the UK to serve teens needing cancer treatment. The goal is to offer places where they can receive specialist care while offering each other support in an environment that reflects their interests.