More than £370,000 has been awarded to the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) at King’s College London by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to fund studies into the effects that various types of accommodation in hospitals have on staff and patients.
It is hoped the money - from the new NIHR Health Service and Delivery Research programme - will help researchers to compare ‘traditional’ facilities, such as wards which are mainly open plan, with new hospital buildings that have single room accommodation throughout.
Director of the NNRU, Professor Jill Maben, leads the research team, which is formed by King’s College London, University of Southampton and Imperial College London researchers.
Professor Maben said she and the researchers were “delighted to have secured funding to take forward the next phase of this important project”.
“The first NHS hospital in England to have 100 per cent single inpatient rooms opened in 2011,” she said.
“The government and the NHS are now keen to increase the amount of single room accommodation available in hospitals because of the perceived benefits for patients, staff and overall healthcare outcomes.
“This research will investigate what advantages and disadvantages there may be in increasing the number of single rooms in hospitals, comparing the new hospital with the old buildings.
“We will also be comparing key metrics, such as infection rates, with those in other hospitals which have not moved to new accommodation.”
The before and after effects will be considered during the project - to see how the change to single-room accommodation has effected staff and patient experiences, care processes and costs.