Part E sets standards for the sound insulation between dwellings.

In the 2003 revision, the regulation was extended to cover hostel types of accommodation such as student halls of residence. We called these types of accommodation Rooms for Residential Purposes, and the definition could be taken to include hospital wards where a high standard of sound insulation could conflict with operational requirements. For this reason, we made a specific exclusion for “…a room in a hospital, or other similar establishment, used for patient accommodation…”.

The question is whether a Care Home can be considered as an “other similar establishment” “used for patient accommodation” for the purposes of this exclusion.

This is a matter for the building control body to decide, but they should take account of the following:

One of the aims of the 2003 revision of Part E was to ensure that people have a reasonable degree of acoustic privacy in their homes, including rooms for residential purposes. Patients in hospital can be considered as a special case, because the need for the medical staff to hear sounds of distress and to have rapid access to the patients, is likely to be more important than the patient’s need for privacy.

Residents in Care Homes may be considered to be in the same category as hospital patients if they are patients receiving a high level of care and are unable to live independent lives.