NHS hospitals have reported that there were 1,244 breaches of the mixed sex guidance in England during October, a rise of 165 on September. Patients with private medical insurance will be exempt from these figures, having the choice of treatment in a private room.
This is the first time there has been a rise since December 2010, when it was announced that hospitals would be fined for the breach. The Conservatives pledged to end mixed sex wards, 10 years after Tony Blair made a similar promise. There has been outrage that this promise has not been kept.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said: “For years Governments have said that clamping down on this is a priority yet still it continues to happen. Now the Department of Health’s figures show a marked increase in the number of people staying in mixed sex accommodation.”
"It is clear that cuts are beginning to bite and hospitals are struggling to ensure that the care they provide is up to an acceptable standard."
“It is not enough to spout rhetoric about mixed sex accommodation being unacceptable, the Department of Health needs to provide practical support to the Trusts who continue to breach mixed sex accommodation guidelines to stamp out this problem once and for all.”
Interestingly, almost two thirds of all the breaches occurred in just two areas, London and the South East Coast. Barts and The London NHS Trust had 288 breaches while East Sussex Healthcare had 169.
Patients with private medical insurance living near Barts and The London NHS Trust could have been treated in the London Bridge Hospital. One of London’s premier hospitals, it offers over 100 private, ensuite air conditioned rooms, each with satellite TV, radio, a telephone and a fridge.
With private health insurance, patients in East Sussex could have stayed in one of the 29 private rooms in the Spire Sussex Hospital. All come with en-suite shower or bath, television telephone and personal nurse-call system.
Compare health insurance policies online now to ensure you avoid mixed-sex wards in the NHS.
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