'Close your curtains': Hospital's message to uni hall after 'naked activities' witnessed

Hayward College residents have been reminded that Dunedin Hospital patients can see into their...
Hayward College residents have been reminded that Dunedin Hospital patients can see into their building, and have been asked to close their curtains at night. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Some may have found it hard to look away. Others may have needed some sort of counselling.

Dunedin Hospital’s children’s ward has uninterrupted views of Hayward College across the street, and some visitors to the ward have been getting an eyeful of student night-time activity at the University of Otago hall of residence.

The university recently received a ‘‘friendly’’ email from the ward, asking if students could please close their curtains at night, especially during ‘‘certain naked activities’’, to avoid any embarrassment.

Southern District Health Board acting paediatrics clinical leader Prof Barry Taylor saw the comical side of the situation.

‘‘It is very funny.

‘‘It’s been a humorous episode in the daily life of the children’s ward.

‘‘My understanding is that a parent mentioned that there was some naked activity that was visible from their 5-year-old’s [hospital] room and they didn’t particularly want them to see it.

‘‘A junior staff member said she knew the manager at the hostel, and she let them know that they should keep their curtains closed — basically to protect the privacy of the students.’’

Specifically, the brief email stated: ‘‘The Children’s Unit staff at Dunedin Hospital would like you to close your curtains when engaging in certain naked activities at night.

‘‘Parents and their 5-year-old children can see far more than I’m sure you’d like.’’

Prof Taylor said there was only one room in the hall that could be seen from the hospital ward.

‘‘I’m not going to tell you which one, for obvious reasons.’’

A University of Otago spokeswoman said Hayward College staff appreciated being alerted to any issues that affected residents’ privacy, and had advised residents accordingly.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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