Privacy and dignity
Delivering Same Sex Accommodation
NHS Bath and North East Somerset is ensuring it is purchasing healthcare from organisations which are compliant with Department of Health Standards on delivering same sex accommodation. We are committed to increasing your privacy and improving your dignity when you access all NHS services in Bath & North East Somerset.
NHS Bath and North East Somerset is ensuring it is purchasing healthcare from organisations which are compliant with Department of Health standards on delivering same sex accommodation. We are committed to increasing your privacy and improving your dignity when you access all NHS services in Bath & North East Somerset.
Eliminating mixed sex accommodation
Hospitals across Bath and North East Somerset are all declaring compliance with nationally set standards relating to single sex sleeping accommodation.
These standards meant that patients can expect to only have to share sleeping accommodation with the opposite sex when there are clinical reasons to justify this, for example in intensive care areas.
Q) What is mixed sex accommodation?
A) Mixed sex accommodation is where patients of opposite gender have to share either sleeping accommodation, toilets or washing facilities.
Q) What do we mean by same sex accommodation?
A) Same sex accommodation can be provided in:
- single sex wards, where the whole ward is occupied by men or women only
- single rooms
- mixed wards, where men and women are in separate bays or rooms.
Separate toilet and washing facilities for men and women should also be provided, preferably within or next to the bay or room. Patients should not need to pass through opposite sex accommodation or toilet and washing facilities to access their own.
Providers of health and social care services across Bath and North East Somerset have launched a new campaign aimed at improving the dignity of care for all service users. Privacy, dignity and respect should be at the heart of high quality health and social care.
NHS Bath and North East Somerset has been identified by NHS South West, formerly the Strategic Health Authority, as a pilot area to launch the initiative in partnership with the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP).
A steering group, with representatives from local acute providers, mental health, community health and social care, and service users, decided that a stakeholder day, would be an effective way of launching the dignity initiative. It would also provide an opportunity to showcase activity that local organisations have undertaken to support and promote dignity in care.
Declaration of Compliance
We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been eliminated in both of our in-patient units at Paulton and St Martin’s Hospital.
Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. NHS Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust is committed to providing every patient with same sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.
We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been eliminated in our Trust. Patients who are admitted to either of our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area.
What does this mean for patients?
Patients admitted to in-patient units provided by Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Social Care Services can expect to find the following:
Same Sex accommodation means:
- The room where you bed is will only have patients of the same sex as you
- Your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area
It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may have to cross a ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.
You may share some communal space, such as day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women patients as you move around the hospital (eg on your way to X-ray or treatment rooms).
It is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other.
It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area.
If you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (eg you need a hoist of special bath) then you may be taken to a “unisex” bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff with be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.
The NHS will not turn patients away just because a “right-sex” bed is not immediately available.
What are our plans for the future?
Our plans for the future are to sustain our commitment to ensuring single sex accommodation.
How will we measure success?
We will monitor the use of our in-patient accommodation and reports will be made to our Committee on our continued compliance with this commitment. Any failures to comply with this for any reason will be reported immediately to the appropriate Divisional Director and a report on the reasons for failure will be prepared and presented to the next Committee meeting.
What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?
We want to know about your experiences. Please contact our PALS and Complaints Service:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
NHS Bath and North East Somerset
St Martin’s Hospital
Clara Cross Lane
Tel: 01225 831717