What do you want in a waiting room?

I’ve visited a lot of clinics in the last few months and am always interested in the different ideas they have about waiting rooms and what patients want.  Some are quite cold and clinical with stiff-backed chairs and nothing to look at, others are full of low sofas and potted plants, some offer magazines to read, others focus on fertility-related literature and some have a selection of fertility books.  Some have soft music playing, others have a TV on all the time in the corner.  It’s interesting to see how different the thoughts are about what patients want and what might be helpful.

One of my favourite waiting rooms is light and airy with an interesting view and lots of brightly coloured low sofas.  It has a machine for hot drinks and a selection of fertility books to read.  To me, it always feels instantly relaxing, but it benefits from being spacious and there’s a limit to what you can do when you have a very cramped space for the waiting room which a number of clinics do.  Of course, in the scheme of things waiting rooms are not important when it comes to choosing somewhere to go for your fertility treatment, but I think they do say something about how much thought and effort the clinic has put into trying to create a pleasant space for you – and that thought and effort may be reflected in other areas too.

The one thing which I think is really very difficult is a clinic waiting room which shares space with an antenatal unit as there is nothing worse than having to sit opposite a woman who is pregnant when you’re waiting for a fertility appointment.  Even sharing the same entrance and some facilities can be awkward.

I think my priorities would be comfortable seats, some books to look at and a space that made me feel secure and confident about confidentiality, but I’d be interested to know what you think… What makes a good fertility clinic waiting room? Are there things you’d really like that no one has thought of?