The people of Dumfries and Galloway are to have a shiny new hospital to replace the 40-year-old Royal Infirmary (DGRI).
This will cost future taxpayers at least £200 million, £23 million of which is due to Scottish Government insistence (as with the new Glasgow Southern General Hospital) that all rooms must be single.
The many people who prefer a single room should have their choice. However, in two surveys at DGRI, 70% of patients in four-bedded bays and 40% in single rooms expressed preference for a shared room should they be re-admitted. This is quite contrary to governmental insistence that "patient feedback has consistently shown a desire for single rooms". The local Advocacy Service reports many instances of patients being lonely, bored and frightened in a single room, and a doctor at DGRI considers that many patients in a single room will suffer "sensory deprivation in virtual solitary confinement". The chief executive admits that many members of the DGRI Stakeholder Reference Group are in favour of single rooms.
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