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Tuesday 16th January 2018

Mixed sex wards still a problem

20th May 2008

Statistics obtained by the Conservative Party have found that two thirds of health service trusts are not meeting government targets to make sure hospital patients are treated in single-sex wards.


The information was uncovered by asking for data from 171 hospital trusts in England under the Freedom of Information Act. 120 trusts responded to the request.

It also showed that one in seven trusts in England employed a curtain or screen instead of a wall to partition patients of different sexes.

64% of patients needed to navigate places where the opposite sex were treated in order to visit bathrooms.

Only 33% of trusts could demonstrate that they achieved "the minimum standards".

In 2002 Labour said it would stamp out mixed wards by 2002. The government claimed in 2006 that 99% of patients were treated on single-sex wards.

Labour stated that patients should be treated in areas that were separated by "fixed full-height partitions".

However, patient polls showed this was not the case. A report published in 2007 showed that 15% of trusts had not been able to install single-sex wards.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Their endless promises to eliminate mixed sex accommodation have never been fulfilled and patients have been badly let down."

A Department of Health spokesman said in response: "We have made this a top priority for the NHS and have asked every trust in England to set challenging local plans for improvement."

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