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Health: Single-sex Accommodation

Volume 698: debated on Thursday 7 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will ensure that all patients who need or wish to be treated in single-sex accommodation in mental health services are so treated. [HL1662]

Appropriate gender separation on mental health units is essential for privacy, dignity and safety. The environment plays an important part in this, however policy, practice and training are equally important. Good progress on mixed-sex accommodation in mental health has been made; 70 per cent of available beds across the mental health estate is in single rooms. Recent guidance to the National Health Service makes it clear that men and women in mental health units should never have to share bedrooms, or bed bays, with the opposite sex. However, we know that further improvements can be made and consequently have included mixed-sex accommodation in the operating framework for the NHS this year to make sure that it is at the top of the agenda. Primary care trusts have been asked to assess the situation in all their trusts and to agree and publish stretching plans for improvement.