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Mixed sex wards stamped out at county hospitals
NO PATIENTS at Oxfordshire’s hospitals had to share wards with members of the opposite sex, according to latest reported figures.
It comes just 18 months after the county’s hospitals were the worst in the country for mixed sex wards.
Latest Department of Health figures reveal the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, which runs Oxford’s John Radcliffe, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and Churchill and Horton in Banbury, were among nine trusts in the South Central region to report no breaches.
In February 2011, 859 patients within the trust’s hospitals shared a ward.
At the time the OUH said it had been ‘over-reporting the breaches’.
All providers of NHS-funded care are expected to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of the patient. The only areas where mixed sex accommodation is regarded as acceptable are critical care beds and accident and emergency.
In August 2012 there were no breaches – occasions where patients were unjustifiably placed in mixed sex accommodation– in South Central, down from 693 in December 2010 when the data was first collected.
Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, of Oxfordshire based watchdog Patient Voice, said the hospitals had carried out a lot of work to improve.
She said: “I think a huge amount of work must have gone into this and I think the trust must be congratulated.”
Health Minister Dan Poulter said: “Nobody should have to suffer the indignity of mixed sex accommodation.
“Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff in the South Central and the Government’s rigorous monitoring system, the number of patients placed in mixed sex accommodation has reduced nationally by 99 per cent.
“Any hospital in South Central still placing patients in mixed sex accommodation will face fines of £250 per patient, per day for every breach. I’m pleased that we are making good progress and improving dignity for patients.”
Elaine Strachan-Hall, chief nurse at the OUH NHS Trust, said: “The privacy and dignity of our patients is something that we take very seriously. We have invested a considerable amount of money over the last few years in bringing our inpatient facilities up to a high standard of privacy and dignity.