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Restore the prominence of the medical ward round

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 31 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6451

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Re: Restore the prominence of the medical ward round

Communication, opinion and advice are what in patients want. The issue here is the venue and accompanying this article is a photograph that encapsulates the problem. There is a complete lack of privacy. I suspect most hospital doctors whatever their specialty avoid discussing their financial situation in modern open planned banks - so why be prepared to put patients through a similar experience?

Ward rounds have to take place as decisions need to be made. My suggestion where communal communication cannot be avoided by the use of single rooms is to discuss each patient before entering the ward. This approach also focuses the mind on the important medical issues and at least avoids some of the potential embarrassment for all involved. Not new or perfect but more considerate.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 November 2013
Paul Thomas
Retired surgeon
Woodford, Essex