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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More than three million NHS patients are still being admitted to mixed-sex wards each year despite repeated promises by ministers to end this.

Mixed-sex NHS wards for 3m patients

Extracts from the Telegraph:

"A study published by the Healthcare Commission has also found that hospitals were getting dirtier, fewer staff were always washing their hands before touching patients and a fifth of people who needed help with meals were still not getting it.

Its survey of 76,000 inpatients in England – the largest of its kind – measured hospitals on factors that included quality of care, dignity and respect, privacy, waiting times, complaints and quality and availability of information."

"Last year, almost 13 million people stayed at least one night in hospitals in England, meaning that up to 3.2 million were admitted to a mixed-sex ward.

Nearly a third of patients also reported having to use a bathroom shared with members of the opposite sex.

Medway NHS Trust in Kent was the worst in the country for mixed-sex wards, with a score of 54.83. The Cardio­thoracic Centre in Liverpool rated highest on 97.45.

Labour first promised to abolish mixed-sex wards in 2002 but after arguments over what constituted a ward or a sleeping area, Lord Darzi, the health minister and a practising surgeon, said single-sex wards were "an aspiration that cannot be met". "