Speaking exclusively to NT, Mr Lansley challenged the government to adopt such a policy and start creating more single rooms in the NHS over the next year.
‘It is possible to adopt this approach now and the government should just get on and do it. They do not need a long lead in time for this, they could do it within the next year,’ he said.
In September Mr Lansley announced the Conservative Party’s intention to almost double the number of single rooms currently available in the NHS in their first term in office.
Mr Lansley said the party planned to raise the proportion of single rooms from 28% to 55% – an increase of 45,000.
He said £1.57bn of capital funding would be provided over a five-year period ‘to allow NHS hospitals to provide patients with the accommodation they choose’.
Mr Lansley called on the government to make building single room capacity a priority in hospital funding allocation.
‘Last year the NHS capital budget was underspent by £2.9bn. If the government spent this on providing single rooms they would not need additional expenditure,’ he added.
Department of Health guidance says the proportion of single rooms in new hospital developments should aim to be 50% but should not fall below 20% and must be higher than the facilities they are replacing.
A DH spokesperson said: ‘Each trust makes an informed choice regarding the appropriate percentage of single bed provision based on practical considerations such as site restrictions, affordability as well as clinical and operational limitations.
‘We do not consider that an additional target on the NHS is appropriate at this time.’
NT will be running a feature on single rooms on 11 November