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Patients still in mixed sex wards, shock survey shows

PUBLISHED: 23:53 19 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 05 October 2010

ONE-in-four patients are still being admitted to mixed-sex wards in hospitals in East London and are having to share a bathroom and toilet with the opposite sex. The findings by the Care Quality Commission come to light despite a Government pledge that hospitals will be fined if they continue mixed-sex wards

By Gemma Collins

ONE-in-four patients are still being admitted to mixed-sex wards in hospitals in East London and are also having to share a bathroom and toilet with the opposite sex.

The findings in the latest report by the Care Quality Commission health watchdog come to light despite a Government pledge that hospitals will be fined from next year if they continue mixed-sex wards.

Barts and The London NHS Trust was rated among the worst in the country for its mixed-sex wards.

The survey revealed more than one-in-three patients had to share a sleeping area including a room or bay with the opposite sex when they were first admitted and nearly as many were still in mixed-sex wards after being moved. Many also shared the same bathroom or shower area with the opposite sex.

SURVEY FINDINGS

The figures come from a survey of 72,000 people up and down the country who were questioned last summer about their hospital stay.

The Barts and London trust, which runs the Royal London at Whitechapel as well as the nearby London Chest at Bethnal Green and St Bartholemew’s in the City, says it has reduced mixed-sex wards by 82 per cent since November, 2007.

“We acknowledge we can do more and take patients’ views and opinions extremely seriously,” said a trust spokesman this week. “We are developing an action plan focusing on improvement in key areas.”

BAD CLEANLINESS

The trust also fell below the national average for cleanliness, with less than half the patients rating their ward as very clean,’ compared to 60 per cent nationally.

Only 35 per cent could say the bathrooms and toilets were very clean,’ and 14 per cent even rated them as not very clean.’

But on the plus’ side, 76 per cent felt they were always treated with dignity and respect in hospital, while nine-out-of-10 thought the care they received was good’ to excellent’ and seven-out-of-10 had trust and confidence in the doctors.


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