“patients can now expect single-sex accommodation”
Fewer patients than ever before are staying in mixed-sex accommodation.
New statistics released today show that since December 2010, when
monthly collection of mixed-sex accommodation data was first
introduced, the number of reported breaches has fallen by 90 per
In December 2010, hospitals reported that 11,802 patients stayed
in mixed-sex accommodation, compared to 1,126 in July 2011 – a
drop of 10,676.
The data also shows that 115 Acute Trusts (69 per cent) reported
zero breaches in July 2011. The North East has become the first
region in England to report no breaches at all.
To support the Government’s goal to eliminate mixed-sex
accommodation and improve privacy and dignity in hospitals, the
Health Secretary has announced today that any future capital
investments in NHS hospitals – whether brand new of refurbishments
– should consider having a minimum of 50 per cent single en-suite
rooms. This will also improve isolation facilities for infection control.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“Single-sex accommodation is what people can now expect. By
introducing greater transparency, this Government has driven down
breaches by 90 per cent in eight months. There are 10,000 fewer
people suffering the indignity of staying on mixed-sex wards.
What’s more, 69 per cent of Acute Trusts have reported no breaches
“The NHS has done a fantastic job getting to grips with this. But
we remain determined to put an end to mixed-sex accommodation
where it is not clinically justified. This is why hospitals face
fines of £250 for every breach, which can then be reinvested back
into patient care.”
This Government has already approved five schemes that are
planned to meet or exceed the new 50 per cent standard for single
• Royal Liverpool: 100 per cent
• Royal National Orthopaedic
Hospital: 60 per cent
• North Cumbria (Whitehaven): 100 per
• Epsom and St Helier: 50 per cent
• Lister Hospital
Stevenage: 60 per cent
Notes to editors:
1. A full statistical press notice, with further explanatory
notes is available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Statistics/Performancedataandstatistics/MixedSexAccommodation/index.htm
2. In July 2011, hospitals reported that 1,126 patients were
placed in mixed-sex accommodation without any justification. This
compares to 1,933 for June 2011 – a decrease of 42 per cent.
3. Overall, the percentage of single-bed rooms as a proportion of
total available beds continues to increase. Within the last
decade, there has been a significant increase from 22.6 per cent
to 32.7 per cent. In actual bed numbers, this means that 10,486
more single-bed rooms are now available for patient use.
4. Each trust makes an informed choice regarding the appropriate
percentage of single room provision based on practical
considerations such as site restrictions, affordability as well as
clinical and operational limitations. In some cases, providing
single rooms for all patients may not be clinically appropriate.
Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221