Today, there is both theoretical and practical evidence on the benefits of single patient rooms over double or multi-bed wards.  These benefits include improved infection control, reduction in noise, increased privacy and better family support that ultimately lead to increased patient satisfaction.

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What is the status of the practice based upon ‘one patient, one room’?

By providing each patient with a single room, a hospital is recognising the importance of the dignity of the individual and guarantees that patient one of the basic human rights – the right to privacy. Such provision also goes a long way to ensuring compliance with the Human Rights Act 1988 - to preserve the dignity, privacy and confidentiality of the patient.

What is the scientific evidence for the practice based upon a policy of ‘one patient, one room’?

A decade ago, the evidence advocating practice based upon a policy of ‘One Patient, One Room’ was already undeniable and compelling compared to that against (Phiri 2004). Yet there was a significant challenge to change attitudes and the mind set of policy makers, commissioners of new hospitals and those responsible for developing technical guidance for healthcare facilities (Phiri 2014). To date there is increasing evidence worldwide that entrenched attitudes have started to change with the all private-room model gaining a wider acceptance largely in part due to hospital building programmes or the need for rationalisation of the healthcare estate in order to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency towards delivery of better outcomes. Increasingly, new hospital design includes greater proportions of single room accommodation and in some cases all single inpatient rooms. The wider acceptance is also apparent in the development of technical guidance that recommends that new hospitals should have a higher proportion of single rooms than the 10-13 per cent that has traditionally been demanded and provided. Read more

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Healthcare workers are happier and patients are more satisfied with their hospital stays when they are placed in single rooms. Find out more.