Head To Head Commentary

The patient’s perspective: we all want private hospital rooms

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5828 (Published 25 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5828
  1. Cheryl Berry, projects manager
  1. 1Self Management UK, London
  1. cheryl.berry{at}selfmanagementuk.org

I agree with Hugh Pennington when he states, in the accompanying debate, that “single rooms increase privacy, dignity, and confidentiality.”1 A single room ensures that I don’t have to balance on a commode while fighting with curtains and equipment. I don’t have to be embarrassed by my own or others’ bodily sounds or if I expose my flesh. If you are acutely unwell—for example, with vomiting or diarrhoea, which is horrible at the best of times, let alone in public—it is better that you endure this in private.

I also agree that in a single room patients “sleep better because there is less noise.” I know fellow patients who have been kept awake all night by noises such as snoring. And a friend, who has been admitted …

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