DERBY Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become one of the first organisations in the country to introduce new hospital gowns in a drive to improve privacy and dignity for patients. Patients at the Royal Derby Hospital and London Road Community Hospital are being given the new clothing, which has been supplied by Synergy Healthcare, the company that supplies laundry services to the trust. Made of poly cotton, the gowns are wider and longer than traditional styles and can fasten at the front or back. They also come with two-tiered sleeves, which allows clinical staff access to a patient's arm or neck to place intravenous drips without the need to remove the garment. Kerry Pape, assistant director of nursing at the trust, said: "Alongside all of the changes in hospital care, one thing that has never changed is the hospital gown. The change to the patient gown began a few years ago in response to a Department of Health design challenge to refocus on aspects of basic care, and in particular, improve the privacy and dignity of patients. We pride ourselves on providing the best possible patient experience and these new gowns will help to ensure that patients' dignity is maintained at all times."