Dramatic drop in patients staying in mixed sex accommodation

Published on Thursday, 19 May 2011 10:23
Posted by Scott Buckler

Fewer patients now have to suffer the indignity of staying in mixed sex accommodation thanks to new rules introduced by the Government last year, according to new figures out today (May 19th)

The figures show that reported breaches of mixed-sex accommodation rules in NHS hospitals has fallen dramatically – down by 77 per cent since December.

In April 2011, hospitals reported that 2,660 patients were placed in mixed-sex accommodation without any justification. This compares to 11,802 patients in December 2010, when monthly collection of mixed sex accommodation was introduced.

From this month, hospitals found in breach of rules will be fined £250 for each patient affected and each day that they stay in mixed sex accommodation. This will put patients first – where they belong in a modern NHS.

The data, published online at individual hospital level, shows that:

  • In April 2011, providers of NHS-funded healthcare reported 2,660 breaches of the MSA guidance compared to 5,446 for March 2011, a decrease of 51 per cent.
  • Of the 166 Acute Trusts that submitted data, 59% reported zero breaches, compared to 52% in March 2011.
  • 59 Acute Trusts who submitted breaches in March 2011 reported a reduction in the number of breaches in April 2011. These organisations reported 3,500 breaches fewer breaches than last month.
  • 18 Acute Trusts reported an increase in breaches.

Commenting on the statistics published today, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“Mixed sex accommodation has no place in a modern NHS that puts patients first. Greater transparency has now driven unjustified mixed sex accommodation down by over three quarters since December. But there are still too many breaches, which is why hospitals will now be fined £250 for every breach they make. This money will be reinvested back into patient care.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the quality of care provided to patients. Individual hospital trusts must explain why they break the rules and the public will be able to hold them to account. Our information revolution will take transparency in the NHS to a new level – patients will be able to vote with their feet and choose a hospital with less mixed sex accommodation."

Source: NHS

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