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Vunerability on mixed sex wards

20th November 2006

31052006_old_woman_thinking2Q.jpgPatients are still being treated in mixed sex wards, despite a government pledge to end the practice.

Campaigners are blaming the financial strain on NHS organisations to halt the estimated £1bn deficit expected this year for the problem.

The Patients’ Association says it has seen complaints more than double over the last year, with most coming from female patients who fear for their privacy, and sometimes safety. 

The association said they received 20 complaints to their helpline on the issue last year but has risen to more than 50.

It comes after the Healthcare Commission revealed more than a fifth of patients in the NHS were being treated in ‘mixed sex’ facilities in acute trusts.

Labour had pledged to end the practice while in opposition a decade ago, setting a target to stop it completely by 1999. This was later revised to 2002 and again to 2004. Today the Department of Health say all but one per cent of hospitals had segregated beds, and three per cent shared washing facilities.

Campaigners say the figures are misleading - allowing hospitals to claim they are meeting targets simply putting up screens or curtains between beds.

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Comments

Jenny Morgan

Sunday 10th December 2006 @ 8:16

I am waiting for an operation on my knee but have been told by Solihull Hospital that there is no single sex accomodation available. They have suggested that I have private treatment if I want single sex accomodation.


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