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Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Mixed sex wards may be inevitable

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 16 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4225
  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}

The “humiliation” of “wards of shame” was how a section of the media reported NHS England’s figures on mixed sex wards this spring.12 The figures showed 13 700 “mixed sex breaches” in 2017-18. This was the highest level since 2010, when the collection of monthly mixed section accommodation “breaches” of “unjustified mixing in relation to sleeping accommodation” was introduced.3 Since 2012-13 NHS England has required in its operating framework that “all providers of NHS funded care are expected to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of the patient.”3

To put that number in context, over 14 million admissions were made to NHS hospitals in England in 2016-17. …

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