Letter to the Editor: One of the criticisms leveled at the new hospital which is planned to replace the Dilke and Lydney Hospital is that far fewer beds will be provided than in the two existing hospitals combined. 

One reason for this is that each bed will be “en suite” ie in its own room with a private bathroom. 

Obviously this takes up far more space than the traditional ward lay-out.

Recently a cousin (in a different part of the country) had to spend time in hospital and one of the aspects he found most difficult was the isolation and boredom of being in a room on his own. 

When he was moved to a general ward for his last few days he was much happier. 

Surely the psychological well-being of patients is as important as the risk of cross infection – which is the reason given for separate rooms. 

In addition it is surely easier for hard-pressed staff to keep an eye on a ward of, say, 10 beds than to supervise patients in separate rooms.

Is it too late for the internal arrangements of the new hospital to be modified?

Ruth Richardson