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Health: Mixed-sex Wards

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 5 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 22 January (WA 33), whether they will collect information on the number of NHS trusts which treat patients in mixed-sex wards; and [HL1581]

Whether their assurances that mixed-sex wards in NHS hospitals would be phased out have been based on information from NHS trusts on the number of patients in such wards. [HL1582]

Guidance issued to the National Health Service requires the provision of single-sex accommodation, not wards. NHS trusts may provide single rooms, single-sex bays within a mixed ward, single-sex wards or combinations of these types. We have never collected information on the number of trusts who have mixed-sex wards per se. Primary care trusts will, under the requirements of the operating framework, set, publish and implement stretching local plans for improvement, but these will again be based on the provision of single-sex accommodation, not wards.

Before including this requirement in the operating framework, we considered a range of information sources, including compliance with the department's core Standards for Better Health, Healthcare Commission inpatient survey data, and Patient Environment Action team assessments.