Shhh! Its curtain confidential 

30/01/2014 00:00 
Keep it confidential.  That’s the message that will be coming over loud and clear thanks to reminder notices on all bedside curtains.
Shhh! Its curtain confidential 


Confidential conversation? You may be overheard’ aims to prompt all staff to think before they speak.

The awareness raising initiative was identified by UCLH matrons (Cathy Beaton, Janet Saunders, Anna Bruce, Alison Finch and Sam Abdul) after patients said they could overhear upsetting or confidential subjects being discussed on the wards.

Matron Janet Saunders said: “We hope it will remind staff that curtains are not a barrier to sound and whatever is being said at the bedside can be heard by other patients.

“If you are talking about confidential information or you have to discuss upsetting news with a patient, please try to have that conversation in a quiet room where you won’t be overheard. If that is not possible, please try to keep your voice down!”

The manufacturers now supply the disposable curtains with the new messages attached. They are now available in every curtained area at University College Hospital and will soon be introduced across all sites.

The need to raise awareness was identified * when the matrons explored in depth one of the questions from National Inpatients Survey   “Did staff ever talk in front of you  as if you were not there?”

Matron Cathy Beaton added: “When we spoke to patients on the wards some were concerned that they could hear conversations going on around them and had no control over what they heard.  Patients were disconcerted as it meant that others could hear what was being said at their bedside too. That was a starting point for us and we hope the curtain message will remind staff in real time for the need to maintain confidentiality when talking at the bedside.”

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