Three senior personnel at public service consultants, The PSC, discuss the NHP’s announcement that all new English hospitals must be 100% single room.
Three senior personnel at London-headquartered public service consultants, The PSC, Smriti Singh, David Chappell, and Sesha Nicholson-Lailey, discuss the implications of the New Hospital Programme (NHP)’s announcement that all new hospitals in England must include 100% single patient rooms. They explore such rooms’ history, their potential benefits and challenges, and the importance of involving clinicians in the planning stage, and discuss developing new ways of working, and leveraging digital solutions, ‘to fully realise single patient rooms’ benefits, and mitigate their challenges’.
The case for and against the mass adoption of single patient rooms has long been discussed in healthcare. Despite this debate, the shift to single patient rooms has long been on the NHS’s agenda,1 and on the agenda of the Conservative Party, for over a decade.2 In spite of the political position, Trusts in England have, until now, been allowed to decide the number of single patient rooms in new-builds. As a result, uptake has varied, and while other parts of the UK have opened a number of hospitals with all single patient rooms,3 England currently only has two. The first hospital in England to provide only single patient rooms, in Tunbridge Wells, and the second, the Royal Liverpool Hospital, opened their doors in 2011,4 and October 2022, respectively.5,6
Threat from airborne infection
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