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New patient gown design unveiled by health minister


The hospital gown, long the bane of privacy-conscious patients, has been redesigned as part of a raft of measures to protect the dignity of NHS users, health minister Ann Keen has revealed. Scroll to down to see a video of the new gown

Speaking at the culmination of the Design for Patient Dignity programme, a joint scheme by the Department of Health and the Design Council that has seen designers come up with a range of prototypes to help solve patient privacy issues, the minister said: “We want to ensure that patients’ experience of the NHS goes from good to great and the exciting designs unveiled today show patients what they can expect from the NHS of the future.”

The concepts profiled include: a warmer, more dignified patient gown; a “Bed Pod”, which creates a patient-controlled sleeping area; a “Capsule Washroom” that reorganises toilets along single-sex lines; and a wheelchair-bed hybrid.

Design Council chief executive David Kester said:”The prototypes provide simple, practical responses to the healthcare issues that we all care about. Design for Patient Dignity demonstrates that when we listen to the public and bring frontline NHS staff together with industry, great innovation and enterprise thrives.”

Source: Design Council

This one-size-fits-all gown is reversible, with a choice of v-neck or round-neck. It’s easy to put on and covers the patient’s front and back, while its press-stud fastenings mean equipment like IV lines can be attached without exposing the skin.


Readers' comments (23)

  • Steve Williams

    Let's see how good these wonder-gowns look after a few encounters with the infamous hospital "laundry-service!"

    A few dozen passes through their tender ministrations and I bet the current "spin" will seem somewhat ironic.

    I can hear it now... "We've got 20 backs but no fronts..." or "All of these press-stud fastenings are duff... pass the Micropore please!"

    I apologise profusely for playing the "Doubting Thomas" role (and I actually hope these new gowns prove their worth) but I suspect this is just another "good in theory - but impractical" waste of money that would have been better diverted to more deserving causes.

    Let's all, now, mark it in our diaries and revisit this subject - via the NT website - in roughly one year's time (April 1st 2011 seems an extraordinarily apposite date for this to occur) and (with the benefit of 20/20 vision) see how much it has impacted patient care and whether it was actually worth all the R&D and hype.

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  • Ok so who pays for these designer gowns? Moi, the taxpayer, but who else. The money, why not use the money to clean the wards for example, so the patients do not get hospital infections. The NHS, and or government continually cry for low funding or no funding, not enough funding well it seems that way, anyway , when throughout the years we have innocent people infected as a clear consequence of a dirty ward. Ok, so its about time, the leaders just used common sense.

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  • I personally think that new gowns would be a great idea. The old ones don't leave much to the imagination and our patients have the right to privacy and dignity.

    As for the last comment infection control isn't about more money being spent it's simply about people washing their hands and a good cleaning regime on wards. It's not rocket science.

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  • Hi!
    I'm working in America at the moment, and we have the "snap" gowns (snaps down both arms).

    I work in an ICU and our patients have LOTS of lines! These gowns are a blessing. No longer the need to pass the bags through the sleeves, or worse, disconnect the line from the patient ....

    I understand what Anonymous 23 March 4:16 means about cutting costs and preventing infections.... but this is a step toward reducing blood borne infections.... and help save nurses' time!!!
    I love them.

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  • If the old gowns are fastened propely, they can maintain your dignity just as well as these new monstrosities! I've got a good idea... why the hell can't patient's provide their own! I'm sure rates of incontinence would dramatically decrease....

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  • Please can the 'one-size' wonder gown be more than the usual size 6 - 12 (especially after the laundry service have boiled the life out of them)?

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  • If the 10.17pm anonymous comment above was written by a nurse then I am truly shocked. Please consider attending a continence training day. Let's hope the new gowns are as useful here as they have proved in the US.

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  • Any time of gown has got to be better than what we have at the moment. I.m also shocked at the comment 10.17 regarding incontinance. Please say you are not a nurse.

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  • YES ! Am really ashamed of the above comment of the 10.17pm as well. Lets sincerely HOPE this human being is NOT A NURSE. The OLD GOWN is not too bad though, if done up properly, white to white and blue to blue, and and cross over at the waist. But unfortunately people do not take time to do it properly. I don't mind the ones either.Privacy and Dignity of the patients is paramount.

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  • What a waste of time and money!!

    Poorly patients have more impotant concerns that what there bed wear looks like or if you can see there bum!

    There are lots more worthy things this money could be used for.

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