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Essex nurse spearheads drive to eliminate mixed-sex wards


An Essex nurse is spearheading a programme to eliminate mixed-sex wards.

Emma Whiteford, strategic lead for unplanned care at NHS South West Essex PCT, has been picked to join the Department of Health’s 30-member Delivering Same Sex Accommodation (DSSA) Targeted Support Team Programme.

The programme was set up in response to a Government pledge to eliminate mixed sex wards by April 2010.

Emma has almost twenty years’ experience working in acute and community settings.

‘We have a tremendous opportunity as a support team to help educate and support our partners in health to achieve compliance with this agenda,’ Emma said.

‘It is as much about embedding a culture that supports the privacy and dignity agenda and linking it with the DSSA guidelines as it is about buildings and new facilities.’


Readers' comments (4)

  • Having worked on a mixed sex ward and had personal experience of the problems that can occur I fail to understand why we still have them in 2009

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  • My experience of mixed sex wards in my trust is that it did not happen, except in the admission unit, and then it was very rare. The trust has spent a vast amount of money on advertising that it has abolished mixed sex wards. My opinion is that it has done this to 'look good' in the public eyes. It rarely happen as I said, so why does it need to spend so much money on advertising it? may because it is applying for foundation status...
    P.S I hate how cynical I am.

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  • Those of us who have been in the system for a few years will all remember that we routinely had male & female specific wards for both medical and surgical. The changes happened with the drive to shed beds and streamline the number of hospitals in any given area.
    As always - stay around long enough in the NHS or health worldwide and you will be back where you started from. Not cynical just learning from the past!

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  • As another nurse who has been kicking about for a few years, I trained at a hospital wherre we only had one very small ward that was mixed and most patients were in side rooms or two bed bays. There were separate bathrooms and toilets on there for men and women. The problem nowadays??? Less beds overall in London, larger population. Fewer A&E's meaning that there are too many patients coming in as emergency cases, filling beds that should be used for elective surgery. Last of all, decisions about bed management being made by managers with no clinical experience and the drive only for cost savings and not about patient dignity, privacy and safe care. Wake up NHS! Get nurses and doctors well trained and capable of taking back the management of hospitals.

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