Mixed sex accommodation breaches have reached their lowest level since the collection of monthly data, but 30 per cent of acute trusts are still failing to comply.

The Department of Health has also announced that all future hospital capital investment programmes should “consider” a minimum of 50 per cent single en suite rooms.

Data for July shows that there were 1,126 breaches of the Department of Health guidelines that ban mixes sex accommodation in the majority of circumstances. This compares to 1,933 for June and marks a 90 per cent drop from the 11,802 breaches recorded in December.

The data shows that the remaining breaches are concentrated in 51 out of 167 acute trusts. The five trusts with the worst compliance for July were:

  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust –205
  • Barts and The London NHS Trust – 192
  • South London Healthcare NHS Trust – 70
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust – 62
  • Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – 53

Barts, Maidstone and South London were also in the top five in April, the first month that fines of £250 for every day a patient was forced to share accommodation with the opposite sex were introduced.

By region, the majority of July breaches, 346, were in NHS London followed by the NHS South East Coast with 271. However, NHS North East became the first region to report no breaches in a month (see table below).

Only two organisations outside the acute sector breached the guidelines, both in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust reported 10 breaches and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust one breach.

In a statement announcing the figures, the DH said: “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.”

The first NHS hospital with all single rooms opened earlier this year. The Pembury Hospital in Kent, which is part of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, opened its women’s and children’s services and some support services in January, with the remaining services due to open in September.

The hospital has 10 wards with 512 rooms, all of which have en suite facilities. It was built under a private finance initiative for around £230m.

 

National & Strategic Health Authority (SHA) Level Data    
SHA CodeSHA NameMSA BreachesBreach Rate  
-England1,1260.8  
      
Q30North East SHA00.0  
Q31North West SHA1580.7  
Q32Yorkshire and the Humber SHA80.1  
Q33East Midlands SHA560.5  
Q34West Midlands SHA830.5  
Q35East of England SHA600.4  
Q36London SHA3461.5  
Q37South East Coast SHA2712.7  
Q38South Central SHA130.1  
Q39South West SHA1310.9  
      

Source: DH