More single rooms for NHS30th September 2008
The Conservative Party have said they will increase the amount of single rooms available in health service hospitals in order to combat superbugs and make patients' experiences better.
The party's health spokesman Andrew Lansley said in his speech at the Tories' annual conference in Birmingham that pregnant women would be given their own room if they wanted one, as would mental health patients.
They want to build 45,000 new single rooms in hospitals at a cost of approximately £1.5bn. They have estimated that 93,200 single room beds will be required, an increase from the 48,000 which currently exist in hospitals.
The Tories said they thought the annual cost of the single bed scheme would be £314m over a five-year period.
Mr Lansley said that the Labour government had not met targets for the provision of single rooms and single-sex wards in hospitals.
He stated: "No-one should be forced to suffer the indignity of staying on a mixed sex ward."
The Conservatives say that rooms devoted to patients with HAIs would increase by 7% and every patient who required "planned care" - with the exception of child patients - would be able to choose a single room.
"By giving NHS patients the choice of a single room when they book their operation, we will ensure that they will be treated with the dignity they deserve," Mr Lansley added.
"Any stay in a hospital is a traumatic and trying time. We hope that the proposals we are announcing will make a big difference in removing unnecessary stress for patients and their families."
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