Where, you might wonder, have the world's first burqa hospital gowns been introduced? Saudi Arabia? No. Afghanistan? Nor Yemen nor Iran nor the United Arab Emirates. Guess again.
The burqa hospital gown, invented and made in the U.K.
The blue £12 "Inter-Faith Gowns," writes the BBC, "cover the entire head, neck and body, leaving just a slot for the eyes. The burqa-style gowns come with trousers, two styles of head-dress and elasticated cuffs to prevent women's arms from being revealed." They are the brainchild of Karen Jacob, linen services manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. "I noticed a gap in the market and thought that it would be great if there was a gown that helped to preserve a patient's modesty." The National Health Service owns the patent. Tim Meadows, customer service manager for Interweave, the West Yorkshire-based firm which makes the garments, believes the demand for the gowns could be huge. "We think there is a large market out there," he says. "We hope it will be a success. We have invested a lot of time and money." The gown will be available on November 1.