Hospital Wards: Gender

Department of Health written question – answered on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress the Government is making on eliminating mixed sex wards in the NHS.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

This Government believes that all patients deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and has made it clear that providers of National Health Service funded care are expected to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation (MSA), except where this is in the overall best interest of the patient, or reflects their personal choice.

The NHS constitution states that patients admitted to hospital will not have to share sleeping accommodation with patients of the opposite sex, except where appropriate.

There are often legitimate reasons why people might be placed in mixed wards or bays because the need to treat a patient safely and urgently must take priority. In such cases, the breach should be rectified as soon as possible.

The number of breaches of MSA guidance has fallen from almost 12,000 in December 2010 to only 710 last month, a reduction of 94%.

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