Designing an environment that is more suitable for the needs of the patients and at times staff, while a bed is being located.

7A is a 15-bed (13 funded beds) mental health unit at SickKids that provides care (assessment, stabilization and treatment) for patients aged 8 to 18 who have an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge disorder, etc.) or are suffering from a major psychiatric illness such as depression with suicidal ideation, manic depression or psychosis. The patients are all voluntary patients as SickKids is a Schedule 2 Facility meaning that they are not legally authorized to detain patients who are not agreeing to stay for treatment or assessment.

The big wicked issue is that sometimes the patients during the course of their treatment become involuntary and the hospital cannot always find a bed for them at a Schedule 1 Facility in a timely manner. That results in providing care in an environment that is less than perfect for the needs of the patients and at times staff, while a bed is being located.

Our team would like to proactively identify a solution for providing this level of care until we can transfer the patient to the right level of care. This solution would need to address the safety needs of the patient and the staff and also be mindful of the legal implications of not being a Schedule 1 Facility.


  • After discussion with the 7A team it was decided that a design workshop will be initiated to identify opportunities to deal with the issues identified above. The primary focus of the workshop was to help the CDN team to better understand the issues and concerns of the 7A staff and management.

  • The workshop included a tour of the facilities and discussion with nursing staff. The outcome of the workshop would be a selection of opportunities that would be explored and vetted by 7A team for further development by the CDN team.

We will be updated as further information becomes available.