Acoustics and Wellbeing in Hospital Wards

The presentation will look at how the acoustic design of healthcare spaces can improve patient privacy, wellbeing and promote essential sleep patterns. The presentation will focus on internal noise levels within hospital wards, and the difference between the design of quiet spaces by acousticians, and the reality of activity noise levels in hospital wards.

The audience will learn about the current UK standards for internal noise levels within wards, and the considerations given by the acoustic engineer during the design stage to ensure these levels are achieved.

Research on the typical noise levels within hospital wards will then be presented, with discussion on the impact these levels have on patients and staff.

The audience will then learn about the innovative use of sound masking systems within wards, which artificially raise the noise levels using a series of loudspeakers. The benefits of this solution on the patients and staff members, as well as the commercial benefits through reduced construction costs will be presented.

We believe this presentation is relevant to the ‘Innovation’ conference theme, as it presents sound masking as an innovative solution with clear patient and commercial benefits, which is not often considered in hospitals in the UK. Based on the research presented, we believe that sound masking should be promoted as a viable design solution to be used in our UK healthcare facilities.