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

Work begins to end mixed-sex accommodation


The health secretary has announced plans to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation in hospitals across 200 health trusts in England.

A total of 700 projects are planned and work has already started on creating new bathrooms and partition walls to provide separate toilets and sleeping areas for male and female patients.

The move comes after the government pledged in January that any hospitals which failed to protect patients’ privacy from 2010/11 would be penalised financially, unless it could be ‘clinically justified’.

Much of the work under way is being funded by a £100 million ‘privacy and dignity fund’, which has been allocated to all strategic health authorities in England.

Around £40 million of the fund will be spent on new and refurbished same-sex sanitary facilities such as bathrooms, while the remaining money will be spent building separating walls, provision of same-sex lounges and improved partitions.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘We have made great progress, however our message is clear - over the coming months we only expect to see mixed-sex accommodation where it is clinically justified and from next year those trusts who fail in this duty will be financially penalised.’


Related files

Readers' comments (2)

  • does anybody else think that this is just ridiculous? the whole issue of single sex wards has just been blown out of all proportion and is now just expensive political point scoring. Whats the plan? Are all hospitals going to have a male and female cardiology ward? a male and female respiratory ward? a male and female stroke unit? Could this money not be spent better?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Joe Mc Caffery

    This argument is; obviously, young and has some time to go. The topic though contentious and possibly inexhaustive, is relevant and timely.

    Accepting that the Government has mandated that "this will be so" is sadly a reflection of the times, but to state that health care will be "penalised" where differences in ideology and application exist leaves me with nothing more than hollow feeling and an urge to remind myself that the day we handed care over to the people who have no understanding of the care concept, we sold our chickens to the fox.

    Can we penalise the government if they won't do what we want?

    Maybe it's about time we did!

    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.