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PE01482: Isolation in single room hospitals


Petitioner: John Womersley


Date Lodged: 14 June 2013

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that patients in new-build hospitals are given a choice to share a multi-bedded room with other patients or offered a single room; and to subject all the evidence on the single room policy to independent scrutiny.

Petition History:

The petitioner has also collected 279 offline signatures.


17 September 2013: The Committee took evidence from John Womersley, and Rev Douglas Irving, Minister, Kirkcudbright Parish Church. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 17 September 2013 (597KB pdf)

Below: John Womersley and Rev Douglas Irving giving evidence on 17 September 2013


26 November 2013: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Health Council. Link to Official Report 26 November 2013 (515KB pdf)

28 January 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 28 January 2014 (550KB pdf)

1 April 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 1 April 2014 (448KB pdf)

3 June 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 3 June 2014 (484KB pdf)

30 September 2014: The Committee agreed to consider the petition again once the Scottish Government’s review of the research on single bedded accommodation in hospitals is complete. Link to Official Report 30 September 2014 (509KB pdf)

23 February 2015: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 23 February 2015

9 June 2015: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government has no immediate plans to change its policy but has indicated that it will keep the policy under review. Link to Official Report 9 June 2015

Written Submissions:

• Why should those who prefer company when in hospital be unnecessarily deprived of their choice?
• Should the government dictate what is ‘dignified’ and best for people?
• Has enough thought been given to the possible dangers of isolation in a single room, including the risk of unnoticed cardiac arrest?
• Can the 15%+ extra cost burden on the next generation of providing and servicing 100% single rooms (compared with a 50/50 mix of single rooms and 4-bed bays) be justified?

Isolation is not psychologically beneficial to most people. A choice should be given to patients in hospital.

Teresa Branson

8:31 on 13 Jun 2013

All patients should be given choice. Single rooms do not suit everyone.

Julie Simkins

18:40 on 10 Jun 2013

I have had two hospital stays for hip replacements and found being on a ward with others most companiable. A single room may be appropriate at certain stages of recovery but there should be an option.

Ruth Paterson

11:43 on 10 Jun 2013



21:12 on 09 Jun 2013

I was in Edinburgh Hospital last year in both single and shared wards and I positively disliked the single room, except for the private bathroom which was wonderful. So shared rooms with bathroom facilities for each bed.

Janet Laidlaw

19:27 on 09 Jun 2013

personal experiernce of single rooms was not good when i was in a four bed ward we watched out for each other moral was also higher

clement david proudlock

11:39 on 09 Jun 2013

Staff are too busy to look after single rooms properly and so those in single rooms may be left alone in crisis unable to get attention

J.L. Ingall

23:36 on 08 Jun 2013

I would be so afraid to be alone in a hospital room if I was ill.

Jane Ingall

23:32 on 08 Jun 2013

Have noted the isolation of patients in private hospitals at weekends with few staff available and thought they were very vulnerable if any setback suddenly occurred

Margaret Pollitt

20:35 on 08 Jun 2013

I am not in favour of single rooms the reason being I was in the Golden Jubilee in January for a total hip replacement in January , and it is single rooms. I was in for 10 days and it was very lonely as I did not have any visitors. Too far to travel.

Pearl Bissett

21:51 on 07 Jun 2013

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