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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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  • I think the new gowns are a good idea, i mean yes if you do tie the original ones up patients' have their dignity but making it easy for IV access does mean these gowns will be popular. Btw anonymouse 24th march 9.15pm you should be ashamed of your comment, patients do care what they look like and if their bum is on show, everyone has a right to dignity. I agree with the comment that mentions that they will save time for nurses meaning they have more time to give the other basic care which patients are entitled to

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  • The concept of refining a hospital gown is utterly absurd. There is absolutely nothing dignified about wearing a gown for anyone regardless of gender, age, or even religious preference. I for one would never want any of my co-workers to visit me at a hospital while I’m wearing a gown. There is a new hospital clothing line that will definitely replace hospital gowns called DIGNITYWEAR. It is a two piece suit with either warm up or pajama design with complete accessibility for all nursing needs, and encourage patient mobility. It is primarily used during visiting hours so hospitals won't need to eliminate gowns entirely, especially in ER or trauma centers. This makes perfect sense. Not only private parts are covered, but it motivates patients to want to get well and encourage a return to active lifestyle. The website is: I have no idea why every hospitals don't carry this product now, instead of waiting for Ben de Lisi's design next year.

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  • Why not just have a functional, clean and new gown? Does that really mean spending money on a designer gown? Why do always hear about the fact that their is always less money for this or that, meanwhile a politiican who claims expenditure does not seem to be short of it? To the person above who commented on the washing hands and a good cleaning regime, which is important, as a prevention to infection control, have you seen how thick a infection control policy, protocol manual is, have you read any infection control journals recently? If it was all about washing hands and a good cleaning regime, then why is there so much literature on the subject?If it was just about the basics, then why are these journals packed with study upon study, article upon article of ways to make things better?

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  • he he he...
    Steve Williams | 23-Mar-2010 3:52 pm
    - very amusing, you have made me laugh today
    I'm still laughing!!!
    I have it inmy dairy.
    They are very good but its likely people will feedup with the fastens

    now will you all go to the issues regarding poor staffing and leave comments, do not let the midstaffordshire crisis go away...many would like to...Anonymous | 23-Mar-2010 10:17 pm, I hope you are a nurse...please comment on any blog re.staffing issues, your venom could be very useful

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  • I would be happy if ANY hospital gowns were available! my mother-in-law recently admitted to a large Manchester hospital and not one gown could be found. And I know this is not an isolated event because as a children's nurse I frequently had to scour the hospital for anything that remotely looked like a gown! let alone one that fitted the age of the child I was trying to provide one for. Each Pct I believe has just had to reduce their outgoing by an enormous amount of money because Labour have made a mess of the budget! could swine flu vaccine have cost us so much?? I can only see the NHS going downhill at a much faster rate than ever, but at least we will know that as patients are left in corridors for the lack of nursing staff they will have their dignity by wearing these new hospital gowns.

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  • nursteph

    Patients are still human beings who deserve dignity and respect especially with their bodies. I'm glad that this new design of patient's gown was developed and hope it is already out in the market...

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  • Not a moment too soon, I say!!!! Patient comfort and dignity is one of the principles of basic nursing............well of the old school that I am from........not that I am THAT old - just trained well. Seems to me the negative comments above are probably from the generation of nurses who don't like to get their hands dirty in case they need to wash them, or do a bit of hard work. Why shouldn't a designer be asked to design something, after all that is his job., Nowhere is there mention of a big fat fee...may be there was some altruism here and he did it for the challenge, and to improve patient care.
    Lets give them a chance - when are they going to be available? They have got to be better than what is in use now.

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  • The idea of a health minister being at the launch party for a new patient gown has made me feel quite ill. Next stop 1970's socialist nightmare utilitarian utopia, oh glorious leader. What's wrong with providing your own? And while we're at it paying for hospital food.

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  • laura collins

    This patient gown is a great idea. The design really intended for the protection of one's patient. Patients must be in there convenience though there are in the hospital, there also deserve improvement in terms of patient care.

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  • I am glad, at least there is someone to care about patients' dignity eventhough leaders are being suffocated by recession.

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  • Having been a patient as well being a nurse I only hope they make the new gowns in decent sizes.
    Being a bodybuilder with a 52 inch chest I can't squeeze into the gowns! I was taken to theatre for a knee operation wearing some of my gym shorts, much to the amusement of my wife and the ward staff, because the gown just basically lay like a piece of old cloth on my chest!
    But I do remember, as a student nurse one of my class sending someone to theatre in a shroud! Oh dear!

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  • Hello,

    There IS an alternative on the market. Both cost effective and clinically tested, DCS Designs are a UK company and have been manufacturing for 5 years.

    The gowns have pop studs on the upper sleeves, pockets for drains/catheters, and come in small, Medium and Lge/Bariatric sizes.

    They are high quality, yet simple and functional, and reasonably priced.

    Take a look!

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  • Steve Williams

    So... As I said I would... I am finally back after 14 months to evaluate...

    Good investment or just another waste of taxpayers (our) money?

    You go figga.

    Nursing (IMHO) has been corrupted down to the bone and... alas it has denigrated beyond the level where it could be saved.

    The ruling council (The NMC) are corrupt and have been named and shamed.


    Pee Off....

    Making uniforms a topic of conversation was only a detraction from the fact that the head of the NMC was sucking millions of pounds into his personal bank account.

    Google and Read "Animal Farm" by George Orwell....

    I am Benjamin "The Donkey" BTW

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