updated 2/9/2010 3:10:14 PM ET 2010-02-09T20:10:14

The British government is getting behind a plan to replace drafty open-backed hospital gowns with versions that preserve patients' modesty.

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The country's Design Council has asked designers and manufacturers to come up with replacements for the gowns, which it said often leave patients feeling exposed.

One model is being created by U.S.-born designer Ben de Lisi, who has made dresses for stars including Kate Winslet. He told the BBC his design, made from luxury cotton, was "fabulous and aspirational."

Wraparound gowns are already being tested in the western English city of Bristol, and officials said Tuesday that feedback has been positive.

The new gowns will be unveiled next month, and the government says it hopes to have them in hospitals next year.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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