Mixed sex accommodation breaches have dropped sharply since the launch of a tougher regime four months ago but more than one in 10 trusts have seen their performance decline.
The data emerged in the first month that trusts will be fined £250 for every day a patient is forced to share accommodation with the opposite sex.
Department of Health figures published yesterday show that between December 2010 – the first month for which figures were collated nationally – and April, the total number of patients who had to sleep in mixed accommodation fell from 11,802 to 2,660.
But performance between December and April has worsened at 30 trusts out of the 251 that submitted comparable data in both months, analysis by HSJ reveals.
Barts and The London Trust had 433 breaches in April – the highest of any trust and 21 per cent higher than in December.
The figures, which measure the number of patients placed in mixed accommodation, mean Barts is in line for a fine of at least £108,000. However, the actual amount could be substantially higher if patients waited longer than a day before being moved to single sex wards.
A Barts spokeswoman said the trust had invested £800,000 over the last 12 months in site redevelopments to meet the rules.
The other four worst-performing trusts in April were South London Healthcare Trust, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust.
The fines are being enforced through new contract requirements for 2010-11. Announcing them last year, the DH said primary care trusts would have “no excuses” not to impose sanctions. Trusts are only required to report breaches in sleeping accommodation.
South London Healthcare said breaches were not in any of inpatient wards and there were “firm plans” to eliminate mixed sex accommodation in endoscopy units.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare said its April figures were wrong and it was sending the correct data to the Department of Health.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust chief nurse Flo Panel-Coates said problems would be resolved when the new all single room hospital at Pembury opened in September.
Trusts with highest rates in April, compared with December performance
|Organisation||Breaches December 2010||Breaches April 2011||% change|
|Barts and the London||355||433||+ 21|
|Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells||364||339||-6|
|Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals||377||113||-70|
|South London Healthcare*||26||100||+284|
*New figures being submitted to DH