NHS Wayfinding Concepts

The NHS Wayfinding Guidelines are intended to assist designers when creating wayfinding schemes for hospitals and healthcare premises. Its primary aims are:

  • To raise awareness of the need to implement efficient and effective wayfinding schemes.
  • To ensure that wayfinding schemes consider any recommendations and requirements of current and future legislation, such as the Disabilities Discrimination Act.
  • To promote a consistent image at NHS sites by adoption of the NHS Corporate Identity Project.


Hospitals are often complex environments and hence very difficult to navigate. This is further complicated by the added stress and anxiety visitors to a building of this nature are already experiencing. Because of this, poor wayfinding tends to leave people feeling bewildered and confused to which direction they should go. It is the job of hospital wayfinding to guide a visitor through the site efficiently and consequently with minimum stress. This should allow them to reach their desired location efficiently and on time, consequently reducing the amount of stress experienced.

We believe people should be able to understand exactly where they need to be without having to ask a member of staff, consequently resulting in fewer unnecessary staff interactions.

Successful Hospital wayfinding aims to increase efficiencies across all communications, and as a result, help to tackle the problem of missed appointments costing the NHS each year millions of pounds each year.