Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Keen tells nurses to use 'sense' on mixed wards

Junior health minister Ann Keen has suggested mixed sex wards, which the government pledged to phase out six years ago, would be reduced if nurses used ‘common sense’.

She admitted they were ‘difficult to manage’ in an interview with a consumer magazine, but called on nurses to ‘use good management skills and common sense to make sure that not only is a patient’s medical condition treated promptly but their need for privacy and dignity respected too’.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: ‘It is extraordinary putting the blame on nurses when it is the government which has shamefully failed on its pledge to end mixed sex wards.’

In a clarification to her original comments, Ms Keen added: ‘All staff, whether chief executive, board member or nurse have a responsibility to preserve the privacy and dignity of patients.’


Readers' comments (2)

  • Having worked on a very busy surgical ward for seven years. I have noticed an increase in mixed sexed bays in the past year this is not down to nurses who cannot allocate patients this is down to the reduction in waiting times and the allocations by the hospitals bed managers. With these both adding to a very stressful shift felt by all staff to enable trusts to reach their targets.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well if the government is insisting that nurses use our common sense isn't it about time they practiced what they preached. Staff and patients have shared their concerns about mixed sex wards for some time but with the ever unrealistic targets and and reduced staffing its a wonder i ever actually get to speak to my patients never mind nurse them or protect their privacy and dignity. Ideally what should happen even from an infection control point is single rooms for patients!!! Well for now i shall stay put in the real world and wait for the government to come out with its next insult to nurses which is adding to an ever decreasing morale amongst my collegues.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs