Sociable ward helps recovery

RECENTLY I was hospitalised in Edinburgh, initially given a single room, perhaps because I had an infection, although not a contagious one.

However, after a couple of days, I was moved to a four-bed ward because my room was needed for someone else with an infection. After the move, I missed the TV, but gained valuable social interaction with other patients, one of whom was an acquaintance.

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Isolation is clearly desirable for infection control and for some troublesome patients. However, in multi-bed wards, patients learn from and assist each other to their mutual benefit.

I would counsel against a policy of all-single rooms; best to keep a mix.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh