Same sex accommodation

We are proud to confirm that the Trust has eliminated mixed sex accommodation from all of our Hospitals.

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. The Trust is committed to providing every patient with same-sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.

We are proud to confirm that the Trust is compliant with same sex accommodation standards. Our aim is that all patients who are admitted to any of our hospitals will only share their room with members of the same sex, and that same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of the opposite sex should only happen by exception, in the event of a life threatening emergency or where patients need constant observation (for example in the Intensive Care Unit, the Coronary Care Unit, or in the immediate post-operative recovery rooms).

Sharing accommodation with the opposite gender may occur, in certain areas in the Trust, where there has been agreement by all of the patients concerned and where the patients’ dignity is able to be maintained at all times. Examples of such sharing include, where patients are receiving day case treatments such as chemotherapy; where patients are having minor surgery to extremities such as eyes, feet, hands, where they are not required to undress; in the children’s ward, where children and young people prefer to be segregated according to age rather than gender.

What does this mean for patients?

Same sex accommodation means

  • the room where your bed or trolley is will only have patients of the same sex as you in it, even if you are not staying over night;
  • your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area;
  • it is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your bed/ trolley area. You may have to cross a ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas;
  • you may share some communal space, such as day rooms, dining rooms and therapy areas, such as gyms and it is very likely that you will see both male and female patients as you move around the hospital (e.g. on your way to X-ray or the operating theatre);
  • it is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other;
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  • it is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area;
  • if you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (e.g. you need a hoist or special bath) then you may be taken to a "unisex" bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time, and
  • in Accident and Emergency, before patients are admitted to the Trust, patients will experience mixed sex areas. However, patients will be in their own separate cubicles, with dividing walls and curtains.
  • What are our plans for the future?

    All new inpatient developments will be compliant with same-sex accommodation standards. Compliance with same-sex accommodation will continue to be monitored and reported Audits will continue to be carried out against privacy and dignity standards.

    How will we measure success?

    Success will be measured through improvement in our patient experience scores through in patient questionnaires and through the National Inpatient survey results. Success will also be measured through no instances of mixed sex accommodation, which will continue to be monitored by and reported to the Patient Experience Group and to the Board of Directors. Results of the Care Quality Commission's surveys are available on their website and progress of the Trust's actions against these surveys can be monitored through the Trust's Board papers on this site.

    What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?

    We want to know about your experiences. Please contact a member of the ward staff in the first instance. Alternatively you can contact one of the Matron Team, PALs or the Patient Experience Officer if you have any comments or concerns.

    How to contact us

    Matron Team
    Tel: +44(0)1926 495 321 ext 8118

    Tel: +44(0)1926 495 321 ext 8020

    Patient Experience
    Tel: +44(0)1926 495 321 ext 4676

    Further information

    You can find out more about the same-sex accommodation programme at NHS Choices.