Nursing directors have blamed inadequate buildings rather than nurses’ lack of commitment for some trusts failing to meet the target on delivering same sex accommodation.
The Department of Health announced earlier this month that 95 per cent of trusts in England had “virtually eliminated” mixed sex accommodation by the government’s 1 April deadline (news, page2, 6 April).
An investigation by Nursing Times has identified the 15 trusts, including seven foundation trusts, which were unable to declare compliance (see box). Nearly half of the non compliant trusts were in the West Midlands.
NHS West Midlands assistant director of nursing Maggie Bayley said nurses across the region had adopted a “zero tolerance” approach to mixed sex accommodation and where trusts had failed to meet the target it was largely out of nurses’ control.
“Most of the organisations in the patch are old Victorian buildings and it’s the structure of these buildings that has been the main problem. Because of the size of the organisations, and the capital work that had to be done, some of the [refurbishment] programmes that we expected to be finished have over run,” she told Nursing Times.
Most of the other trusts missed the target because of problems on a one or two wards but Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust admitted non compliance in 12 of its 54 wards. Trust director of nursing Mike Wright said the organisation was working hard to ensure full compliance with the target and was investing £1m to upgrade non compliant wards.
“It will require a programme of ward building upgrades, as most of the issues of non-compliance relate to the standard of partitioning between bed bays in ten of the wards at Hull Royal Infirmary,” he said in a statement.
Whether trusts had met the target or not was based on self assessment. This process will now be monitored by primary care trusts and any breaches in compliance found will be reported to the strategic health authority.
Ms Bayley suggested the self assessment results might not be truly reflective of the national situation.
She said: “There is an issue in terms of this being a self assessment process, and how you choose to interpret the word virtually. Trusts in the West Midlands have been very hard on themselves in their self assessments.”
|Trusts that failed to meet mixed sex accomodation deadline|
|Royal United Hospital Bath Trust|
|King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust|
|West Sussex Community Health|
|Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust|
|Portsmouth Hospitals Trust|
|Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust|
|Hull and east Yorkshire Trust|
|Rotherham Foundation Trust|
|Heart of England FT|
|Coventry and Warwickshire partnership Trust|
|South Warwickshire FT|
|George Eliot Hospital Trust|
|Solihull Care Trust|
|University Hospitals Birmingham FT|
|The Royal Orthopaedic Hospitals FT|
|Number of trusts non-compliant overall - 15|
|Number of Foundation Trusts non-compliant with target overall – seven|