IT’S a first for the UK, and Queen Alexandra Hospital is at the forefront.
Patients, staff and visitors of the super-hospital in Cosham may have seen a large box in its reception area.
The ‘Sleepbox’ was donated to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, from ITV, as a thank-you for letting This Morning film all week, earlier this month.
The box, which costs around £12,000, allows for two people, who may be visiting patients in critical care, to have privacy and to sleep.
Paul Morgan, head of fundraising at the trust, said: ‘We are very grateful for this generous gift, and we would like to say thank you.
‘It has certainly been a talking point for people that have been coming into the hospital.
‘It’s interesting to hear some people have thought it was a piece of art.
‘The box is quite big, and when you get inside, you do have quite a bit of room.
‘It’s quite well sound-proofed, so you do get privacy.
‘There are also blinds you can drawer to have time to yourself.’
The Sleepbox has been in the reception area for the past two weeks, but has now been taken down.
A new home is yet to be found for it, but will be put up for use once a ward has been identified.
The trust said it has no plans to buy any other boxes for the moment.
The alternative sleeping area was initially developed by Russian architects to be used in airports.
Paul Stokes, operations director for Sleepbox, said: ‘It was developed about three years ago in Russia.
‘It was for airports, and for passengers to sleep in, in case there was a delay with flights.
‘The first Sleepbox was used in Moscow.
‘But then we started to look at other uses and places, such as railway stations and hospitals.
‘Internationally it has been used in hospitals, but QA is the first to have it in the UK.’
There are three types of Sleepbox – a pod can have one, two or three people inside.
‘It’s not exactly a hotel room,’ added Paul.
‘But it does provide privacy and is insulated.
‘The initial feedback we’ve had has been really positive, so that’s encouraging.
‘It’s really effective for short-term use, and just to give people a break.’