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Mixed-sex Accommodation

Volume 524: debated on Tuesday 8 March 2011

Mixed-sex accommodation breaches patients’ privacy and decency. The number of breaches is now coming down, but there are still far too many. That is why, from April, hospitals will be fined £250 for every breach of mixed-sex accommodation. That money will be reinvested back into patient care.

I welcome the Government’s move to increase accountability to patients by publishing all occurrences of a patient being placed in mixed-sex accommodation. Does my hon. Friend agree that this move, with the prospect of hospitals being fined £250 per patient placed in mixed-sex accommodation, shows that this Government are tackling a problem that the previous Government claimed was impossible to solve?

We are taking this extremely seriously. I should point out to my hon. Friend that there should be no exceptions to providing high-quality care, which includes high standards of respect for people’s privacy and dignity. We need robust information and the monthly publication of the breach figures, which will tell the public what is going on and allow the NHS to make progress. The previous Government dragged their feet on this issue with a complex system that was neither transparent nor effective.