Hospital gown redesigned to save patients’ modesty

The traditional draughty and backless hospital gown is getting a Hollywood-style makeover by one of the world's top designers, the BBC has reported.

The broadcaster said that Ben de Lisi, famed for creating red-carpet frocks for stars like Kate Winslet, was looking to coming up with a new gown that would help preserve patients’ modesty. The old backless gowns have often been criticised for leaving patients laid bare. The Design Council will unveil the design next month as part of a project to improve dignity across the British National health Service (NHS). Health Minister Ann Keen said the designer gowns would be introduced into NHS hospitals in England by early 2011. She said: “As a nurse, I know that when patients visit hospital, the gown they wear is exceptionally important. Patients need to feel confident and comfortable in what can be difficult situations.”

De Lisi told the BBC News website that he designed the gowns with comfort in mind. “The old hospital gown was hideous, embarrassing, ill-fitting and probably ill-making too. You are away from home, ill, and in hospital and you have to wear this horrific garment with your arse hanging out. Give me a break. I wanted the new gowns to feel fabulous and aspirational. They are made from beautiful cotton shirting which is very smooth, cool and lux.” He said his design means patients can have their modesty covered but still allow medics immediate access through clever “entrance points” in the gown.

Katherine Murphy, director of the Patients Association, said the news would be welcomed by patients. “Very often when people are admitted to hospital they don’t have enough time to bring some pyjamas or a dressing gown with them and have to wear hospital gowns. “But when you are ill, the last thing you need is to be embarrassed as well.”

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