A hospital trust in the Midlands has begun introducing a pioneering new reversible “dignity gown”.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s new gown can be worn like a dressing gown and also like a traditional hospital gown by being put on front-first and tied at the back.
A spokesman said: “This second use is essential for our nurses because it allows bed-bound patients to easily have the dignity gowns put on while lying down – as well as mobile patients.
“Essentially, we’ve combined the features of a standard patient gown and a dressing gown, to make one which is reversible. This increases the access and versatility.
He added: “We’ve also reduced the number of ties enabling the patient to fasten the gown more easily. Repositioning the remaining ties has enabled the gown to be secured by the patient without assistance.”
The gowns were developed between March and June last year, then trialled on six wards in the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital. The trust began begun rolling them out last week.
Mark Stone, linen services manager at Nottingham University Hospitals, led the development of the reversible gown.
He said: “Everyone’s familiar with the old type of hospital gown that can leave your bottom exposed. We had a lot of feedback from patients who were unhappy with this – and very rightly. This is a basic dignity issue for our patients. We decided to join up with a company called Interweave to see how we could improve them.
“The ‘dressing gown’ design is great as it wraps around at the front and gives complete coverage. However, we wanted to take this a step further so that the gowns can still be worn in the traditional way – front to back – so that nurses can still put the gowns on patients who are lying in bed,” he added.
“They fasten at the back of the neck and can then be tied and secured lower down as and when the patient is moved in bed. This is a crucial element for our nursing staff.”
Nottingham Hospitals Charity donated £20,000 for the gowns to be developed.