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Best Chairs for General Medicine Wards

The general medicine ward is the next stop after A&E for patients with more complex underlying health issues, that need the skill of more experienced clinicians to diagnose underlying causes.

This ward can hold quite a diverse range of medical issues, and operates on a faster patient turnaround, providing short-term, emergency treatment.

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What Happens in a General Medicine Ward?

Every hospital would normally have a general medicine ward, which provides short-term, acute treatment for adults, the majority of who have been admitted from A&E.

Patients admitted into hospital from A&E will be assessed by a clinical team in the Admissions Ward, and if they need further treatment they will be transferred into the general medicine ward.

Emergency department sign

As a result, the General Medicine ward is a ‘melting pot’ of a wide variety of complaints and underlying conditions, which needs the diagnostic skill of experienced clinicians to refer them on to the right department(s) for further treatment.

Some of the usual health issues dealt with by General Medicine teams include:

  • Cardiological conditions
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Thoracic conditions

Treatment for these conditions is usually non-surgical, and involves administering medicine and therapy to treat the patient’s condition. This could include inserting lines and fluids, catheters, and prescribing specialist drugs.

Although not as fast-paced as A&E departments, it is still regarded as urgent care, treating patients who have come in via A&E that are presenting acute medical conditions.

hospital ward monitor


Medicine for the Elderly

Medicine for the Elderly is a sub-branch of the General Medicine ward, specialising in treatment of conditions associated with patients over 65, such as frailty, bone fractures, dementia or falls.

Such patients may have other comorbidities to deal with (multiple long-term conditions), so clinicians will need lots of experience in managing multiple health conditions.

elderly female patient lying in hospital bed


Seating Needs in General Medicine Wards

When it comes to patient seating, there are a range of different needs that need to be considered, such as the following:

  • Infection control
  • Space-efficiency
  • Durability

Infection Control

This is top of the agenda in acute health environments, and good infection prevention and control needs to be considered in all aspects of seating design.

Having chairs that are easy to wipe down with minimal seams and recesses where bacteria can hide are prime features for infection control. This is particularly important in acute wards like General Medicine where patient turnaround is high and chairs will need to be cleaned on a frequent basis.

The choice of fabric and frame material needs to be carefully considered as well, to prevent the ingress of fluids and using surfaces and materials that are bacteria-resistant.

Space-efficient Seating

Medicine wards are busy places, taking a large influx of patients from A&E on a daily basis, so making efficient use of space will be an important factor.


With heavy use and frequent cleaning, durable materials will need to be used in the construction of the chair. The upholstery especially will need to be robust and durable to withstand the knocks and scrapes from a busy hospital ward.


Seating Needs in Medicine for the Elderly Wards

Elderly patients who are likely to have mobility issues and joint/muscle pain will need increased levels of comfort in their seating.

Postural features and comfortable upholstery will help with pressure and pain relief, and using rise and recline mechanisms will help them get in and out of the chair more easily.

To read more about how postural support and accessories can benefit patients in Elderly or Geriatric wards, read our blogpost here.


Seating Solutions for General Medicine Wards

High Backed Bedside Chair

The high backed bedside chair is an ideal budget-friendly option for General Medicine Wards, with standardised features. Infection control has been prioritised, with antimicrobial fabric and a lacquered frame that prevents the ingress of bacteria and can be quickly and easily wiped down.

Where space is at a premium, this chair is an ideal solution, fitting neatly beside the bed and featuring small transfer wheels on the back legs that allow staff to move it around easily without any lifting or straining.

The chair is upholstered in Vyflex Plus four-way stretch fabric, which as well as being tough and durable, provides a soft surface for extra comfort.

The height adjustment allows it to cater to patients of all heights, and the drop-down arms allow easy side transfers to and from the bed.

High Backed Bedside Chair

High Backed Bedside Chair


Lento Mobile Riser Recliner

The Lento Mobile is an ideal solution for Medicine for the Elderly wards. The electric rise and recline function and different backrest and positioning options help keep elderly patients comfortable for longer periods of sitting.

The rise function can be adjusted to help elderly patients stand in a safe and supported way. This is particularly helpful for patients who may have infections or balance issues that make them unsteady on their feet.

The sit-to-stand function is essential to help get elderly patients mobile again who are undergoing rehabilitation from falls.

Product shot of the portable Lento mobile medical riser recliner mobility chair with continuous footrest.

Lento Mobile riser recliner



​While infection control is a key priority for seating in General Medicine wards, seating used will need to have simple, standardised features to be practical on busy acute wards where a wide range of clinicians are involved.

Seating standardisation is a concept we have developed by working with different hospital wards across the country, a principle used in the design of the chairs mentioned in this article.

To learn more about standardising your seating, or request a free demonstration of our acute ward chairs, reach out to our acute seating team today:

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Date Published

9 May 2024

Reading Time

4 minutes

Author avatar


Ralph Hulbert

Ralph has many years' experience in the healthcare sector. In a previous life he worked in finance, and his spreadsheet skills come in handy for all the analysis and research he does as he investigates topics and solutions for some of the world's most complex healthcare conditions and challenges. Aside from writing in-depth articles and organising webinars and interviews with top healthcare professionals, Ralph also administrates Vivid's "Healthcare Pioneers Board", a large group of healthcare specialists with multiple disciplines, who are working together to improve care for years to come.

General Medicine ward

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