Letter to the Editor: I echo Ruth Richardson’s plea for our new Forest Hospital to have fewer beds in single rooms and house most of its occupants in bays of 4 beds, say.

In my recent experience of eight weeks in such a unit, I found that the interplay with the other patients really took my mind off most of my own pangs and discomfort.

Also, as I improved, I found I could sometimes do minor things to help those who were slower to regain mobility.

A nurse-manager from another community hospital due for major works, came to look around.

She confided in me that she too liked to find most patients grouped by four in a bay, plus some single rooms for the minority with real need for them.

 “Yet since Covid,” she sighed, “infection control has taken over design for patients – or nursing.”

I hope it’s not too late to design for people and their mental well-being as they recuperate physically.

Neil Forrest, Mitcheldean