News from Britain: if you’re a gal in hospital, the guy in the next bed won’t be a guy any more.
The government will announce that it is to end the “indignity” of mixed-sex hospital wards in England by the end of the year, it has been reported.
The Daily Telegraph said health secretary Andrew Lansley is to declare that men and women sharing wards is to be ended in all but accident and emergency and intensive care units by the end of the year.
Mr Lansley confirmed last night that he would be making a statement on the subject “shortly”, saying that getting rid of mixed-sex wards was in the best interests of patients.
“I have made clear repeatedly my deep frustration at the fact that mixed sex accommodation has not been eliminated from the NHS,” he said.
“Eliminating mixed sex accommodation is in patients’ best interests, and I made clear the priority I attach to it in the revised operating framework published in June. I will have more to say on this shortly.”
If he succeeds he will achieve a goal which eluded Labour ministers for over a decade.
Oddly, I never realized hospitals in Britain had mixed-sex ward rooms: I had just assumed they were (mostly) segregated by sex, as they are here in Canada.
In any case, I’ve always had a bit of a problem from a purely Emergency
Charge Nurse Clinical Care Leader/logistical/practical point of view with sex-segregating patient beds. I don’t know how often I’ve had people rotting in ED stretchers for days at a time, while there were four or five empty beds on 5 North or somewhere, only they were “male” beds or “female” beds, and there weren’t any patients of the appropriate gender who could go up. In my scheme of things, the Emergency Department is never the right place for admitted patients, and there is no such thing as an “inappropriate” bed based on a person’s sex. If there are beds, get the patients up, regardless of sex.