Single rooms and patient choice
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Single rooms and patient choice

Sue Jolley Gynaecology research sister, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham

Aim To determine whether the allocation of single rooms in a large NHS trust hospital was based on clear criteria and whether patient choice was reflected in this practice.

Method Structured interviews were conducted with nursing staff and patients. In addition, a survey was undertaken to quantify the level of demand.

Results Nursing staff were mainly influenced by the clinical needs of patients. Even in an ideal situation nearly half the staff did not mention patient choice. Approximately half of the patients would have preferred a single room, which means that demand greatly exceeds supply. Most patients did not know why they had been allocated to a particular bed.

Conclusion More single rooms would allow greater choice but some shared areas should be maintained. Local guidance on allocating beds would help to manage the situation more fairly.

Nursing Standard. 20, 9, 41-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2005.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review