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Darzi's single-sex ward U-turn sparks fury

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Comments by junior health minister Lord Darzi of Denham that the government will fail to eradicate mixed sex wards have sparked criticism from patients’ groups.
Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, Lord Darzi said the government was committed to providing single-sex accommodation, not single-sex wards.

The Labour Party promised to eradicate mixed-sex wards as part of its 1997 election manifesto.

Lord Darzi told peers: ‘Our guidance requires the provision of single sex accommodation, not wards.
This may mean single rooms or single sex bays within a mixed ward as well as single sex wards.’

Patients’ Association spokeswoman Katherine Murphy said: ‘This is throwing in the towel. If the NHS couldn't stick to the earlier commitment, why should patients believe anything will change with these new words?"

Patients must tell their local trust boards loudly that this lack of privacy and dignity - and safety - is not on.
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