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Hospital Wards: Gender

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of mixed sex accommodation in hospitals. (218514)

We are committed to reducing mixed sex accommodation to an absolute minimum, and where possible eliminating it. To this end, “The Operating Framework. For the NHS in England 2008-09”, requires primary care trusts to review the current situation in all trusts and agree, publish and implement stretching local plans for improvement in delivering single sex accommodation, with identified timescales and monitoring mechanisms. The framework specifically requires that patient survey results, where available, be used as the monitoring mechanism.

The need to treat and admit patients will on occasions need to take priority over provision of a single sex accommodation. We emphasise that under such circumstances, good standards of segregation can be achieved within a mixed ward, for example by using single rooms or single sex bays.