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Musgrove Park Hospital collaborates with students at Somerset College to design new dignity gowns for cancer patients - 25 June 2015

Musgrove Park Hospital collaborates with students at Somerset College to design new dignity gowns for cancer patients - 25 June 2015

A team of innovators at Musgrove Park Hospital have designed a new hospital gown specifically for women undergoing breast cancer treatment, which ensures they never lose their dignity during procedures.

Dignity Gown 2

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK and the most common type in women. One in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Many patients have said that throughout their cancer treatment process they feel like they lose their dignity and privacy, which can increase emotional stress and anxiety, and this in turn, can have a huge effect on their quality of life.

To overcome this, a team from the radiotherapy department at Musgrove Park Hospital honed in on this aspect of a patient’s journey and made it a priority to give them back their dignity.

The team looked into how they could create a new gown that would preserve the modesty of any patient needing to wear one, women or men alike, and as a group it was decided to look into local facilities that have the manufacturing potential, as well as the design initiative, to create this. Contact was made with a local college, Somerset College of Arts and Technology, which is well known for its textile and design courses.

Dignity Gown 3 After weeks of hard work and collaboration between Musgrove Park Hospital’s innovation team, patients and textiles students from the college, a presentation evening was held in May 2014 to announce the chosen gown designs created by students. The two gowns that received the most votes from staff and patients have since been taken forward to be professionally manufactured by renowned uniform manufacturer, Alexandra, for use within the radiotherapy department at Musgrove Park Hospital. The new gowns will also be featured within Alexandra’s Autumn/Winter 2015 catalogue.

Greg Cobb, Innovation Lead, said; “This fantastic new gown will not only bring benefit to patients at Musgrove Park Hospital, but to patients across the UK and perhaps even the world. It is also recognised that although this project originated with breast cancer patients in mind, there is the potential to use these gowns in other treatment techniques and hospital departments, and the team at Musgrove will be looking into this further for the future.”

Pictured are: images of the dignity gowns in use.