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Mental health units still mixed

23rd March 2007

More than half of patients admitted to mental health units are still sharing wards with the opposite sex, according to a new research.


The Healthcare Commission revealed 55% of inpatients were being treated in mixed-sex wards despite a government pledge to abolish them a decade ago.

The census, carried out by the NHS watchdog last March, has raised concerns over patient safety, particularly women.

Official figures show there were 19 suspected rapes and more than 100 sexual incidents in the past two years, prompting the government to earmark £30m for improvements to protect women.

The census also revealed those from black and ethnic minorities were three times more likely to be admitted to mental hospital than the general population, with black people up to 18 times more likely compared to other groups.

A 2004 survey by Mind, the mental health charity, found high levels of abuse and intimidation on mixed-sex wards.

The government claim 99% of all patients are now treated in single-sex wards.

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Article Information

Title: Mental health units still mixed
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 2343
Date Added: 23rd Mar 2007


The Independent

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