Hawley CJ et al (2013) The effect of single-sex wards in mental health; Nursing Times; 109: 48, 20-22.
The need for single-sex accommodation in mental health trusts has been widely expressed in documents from the NHS Executive and in national and local policies. This case study describes the effects of changing two mixed-sex wards into single-sex wards.
Two mixed-sex inpatient wards were reorganised into two single-sex wards. Qualitative data on staff views was gained from semi-structured interviews and collected.
Staff and patients appear to have made the transition from mixed to single-sex wards with relatively few problems. Staff described differences emerging between the male and female wards, with the male ward becoming calmer, while the female ward became more disruptive.
Overall, the implementation was successful. We suggest that in general single-sex wards are just as effective as mixed-sex wards and, in some respects, may be better.
What do you think?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of single-sex accommodation?
- Why do you think the female ward became more disruptive while the male ward became calmer?
- Should all mental health wards be single-sex?