The trust is changing how wards are named as part of its modernisation programme. From December, the trust will be implementing a nationally approved, location-based naming system. New ward names in full
As the majority of the hospital is built in the shape of a cross, the new system will refer to the direction of each wing - north, south, east and west. Wards will be identified by their floor and wing, eg Hopgood will become 7 North. In addition to this we will be using a colour and shape identifier for each wing too, eg North – yellow, square.
The new naming system will apply only to clinical areas from the third floor upwards; laboratories and other departments will not have their names changed.
This new approach to identifying our wards has a number of benefits: it better reflects the diverse needs of our service users as it is not a language or literacy dependent system, it allows us to develop new services that will be more easily located by both patients and staff and it meets standards for safety as recommended by the National Patient Safety Agency.
The Royal Free Hospital has historically named clinical areas and wards after key figures in its history, or in thanks for legacies made to the trust. Heritage name plaques are already being moved from outside to inside the wards and the new name signs will be put up at ward entrances on 1 and 2 December. To help people find their way around, floor signs showing the north, south, east and west compass points are also being laid down.
Posters have already been displayed around the trust explaining the new naming convention and we will be distributing leaflets to staff, patients and visitors over the next week.