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News archive - June 2011

Drop in mixed-sex accommodation

FEWER patients find themselves having to stay in mixed-sex accommodation, with new figures showing a 77% fall in reported breaches of accommodation rules in NHS hospitals since December.

In April 2011, hospitals reported that 2,660 patients were placed in mixed-sex accommodation without any justification. This compares to 11,800 patients in December 2010. Hospitals found in breach of policy are now fined £250 for each patient affected and each day that they stay in mixed-sex accommodation.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “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. Individual hospital trusts must explain why they break the rules and the public will be able to hold them to account.”

Central reporting covers mixed-sex accommodation breaches in respect of sleeping accommodation only. The NHS is also required to monitor locally all mixed-sex sharing of bathroom/ toilet facilities and all mixed provision of day space in mental health units at a local level.

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