About NHS patient gowns

So we\’ve been having this huge thing about the gowns that people wear in NHS hospitals. No back to them and thus rather revelaing if you get up for a wee or anything.

The Ben de Lisi-designed striped reversible garment keeps the patient\’s body covered and has snap fasteners on the side to allow instant access by medical staff.

It was one of the winners of a Design Council competition commissioned by the Department of Health.

How lovely. Now, here comes the interesting questions.

Firstly, I assume that the original design was so that there\’s easy access to the patients\’ body by medical staff. I\’m sure it makes the use of a bed pan easier too.

OK, so, how do other countries manage the same things? Do US hospital gowns work the same way? Swedish? French?

Then we get to the really interesting part. So, the NHS is paying attention to the desires of patients in not having quite such a revealing gown. Lovely. But is this a world first, showing how wonderfully innovative and considerate of the customer such a national and government provided service is? Or is the NHS decades behind other health care systems showing how a national and government provided service is a lumbering behemoth which almost entirely ignores the customers\’ wishes?

Anyone actually know?

One other invention seems entirely redundant:

The gown was on show at the Design Council in London alongside other winning entries including a \’\’bed pod\’\’ with a curved ceiling to help ensure conversations remain private on wards and a \’\’capsule\’\’ washroom to help provide single-sex lavatory and washing facilities on wards.

Aren\’t all wards supposed to be single sex real soon now?

6 comments on “About NHS patient gowns

  1. Aren’t all wards supposed to be single sex real soon now?

    If government ministers are to be believed they should have been several years ago.

    Ooooops! Just spotted the mistake in that sentence, apologies.

  2. Australia: most hospitals have ones open at back. Patients put on a second back-to-front for modesty. Pain in the arse when you are trying to prep someone for surgery. Impossible to do up or loosen the ties especially if a patients has no use of hands, arthritis, injuries etc.
    Some hospitals have gowns that open to the side, they work OK. They are hardly a massive new invention, I’ve been seeing them intermittently for years. Once I had a patient who weighed 400kg and never wore clothes at home or in hospital, just wrapped himself in a sheet. That was elegant.

  3. Just looking at that article: it is of course absurd for most patients to be wearing these gowns most of the time. Except in the OR or ICU. I was in hospital once myself and I just wore clothes. You can wear normal pyjamas at night. Weird.

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  5. The concept of refining a hospital gown is utterly absurd. There is absolutely nothing dignified about wearing a gown for anyone regardless of gender, age, or even religious preference. I for one would never want any of my co-workers to visit me at a hospital while I’m wearing a gown. There is a new hospital clothing line that will definitely replace hospital gowns called DIGNITYWEAR. It is a two piece suit with either warm up or pajama design with complete accessibility for all nursing needs, and encourage patient mobility. It is primarily used during visiting hours so hospitals won’t need to eliminate gowns entirely, especially in ER or trauma centers. This makes perfect sense. Not only private parts are covered, but it motivates patients to want to get well and encourage a return to active lifestyle. The website is: http://www.dignitywearcollection.com. I have no idea why every hospitals don’t carry this product now, instead of waiting for Ben de Lisi’s design next year.

  6. I think they should just abolish gowns, except for very ill patients. I’ve had the misfortune of being in two hospitals. In one, all patients had a gown and it was horrible seeing people walking around in them. In the other, I wore my own clothes. Gowns were used sparingly and there was much more dignity. I also found the nurses/ doctors in hospital #2 talked much more respectfully to the patients than in hospital #1.

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