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Mixed-Sex Hospital Wards

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to end all use of mixed sex wards. [130997]

The Department of Health has set three objectives to support the elimination of mixed sex accommodation. A small number of hospitals have yet to achieve these objectives on every ward. This is because a number of new hospitals and healthcare facilities are currently in construction, which will upon completion bring all wards to the required standards.

Guidance issued to national health service trusts on the achievement of the objectives made it clear that a variety of ward layouts and designs could be used to deliver separate sleeping accommodation, including the use of single-sex wards, or combinations of single-sex bays and individual rooms. Single-sex bays, together with increasing numbers of single rooms, are common features of modern hospital design both here and abroad, and can provide perfectly acceptable levels of privacy and dignity.