NHS must improve on single sex wards

The NHS must improve its provision of single sex accommodation says a report by England’s chief nursing officer Professor Christine Beasley.

Chief nursing officer Professor Christine Beasley
Chief nursing officer Professor Christine Beasley

The report includes practical advice for trusts who are struggling to maintain this core standard of care. To ensure this is a priority for trusts, the NHS chief executive has made the commitment to reduce mixed sex accommodation a core priority for the NHS for this coming year.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt says: 'The NHS overall has an excellent record of treating people with dignity and respect. Year after year surveys show that the overwhelming majority of patients feel they have their privacy respected and they receive good care. However this report shows there is clearly still more work for the NHS to do to meet our commitment to eliminate mixed sex accommodation wherever possible.

Professor Christine Beasley says in the report:  'The NHS holds the key to delivering privacy and dignity to all patients. Single sex accommodation is a core commitment in the NHS. It should be the norm in all elective care, when patients are pre-booked in for hospital treatment, and it remains the ideal for when treatment is unscheduled.

'But we also need to be realistic that sometimes mixing of patients will occur.'

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