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Patients' perception of privacy and confidentiality in the emergency department of a busy obstetric unit.Privacy and confidentiality are central components of patient care and are of particular importance in obstetrics and gynaecology, where clinical situations of a sensitive nature regularly occur. The layout of the emergency department (ED) in maternity units is often not conducive to maintaining privacy. Our study aimed to discover if changing the environment could improve patients' experiences in the ED. We surveyed patients and asked specific questions about their perception of privacy in the ED. We then repeated the survey following renovations to the ED which involved replacing curtained patient areas with walled cubicles. There were 75 pre-renovation surveys and 82 post-renovation surveys completed. Before the renovations took place, only 21% (n = 16) found their privacy to be adequate during their visit to the ED. However this rose to 89% (n = 73) post-renovation. Our study showed that patients' perception of privacy and confidentiality significantly improved following refurbishment of the ED.