The Conservatives have accused Labour of failing to meet targets for mixed sex hospital wards.

In March the government announced that most NHS trusts in England had scrapped mixed sex accommodation.

All NHS trusts were told they must provide accommodation separately for men and women, dividing up bays with solid walls or full-height partitions.

Using curtains to separate bays is not allowed under the rules.

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But the Tories today claimed there were almost 20,000 breaches of procedure for segregating patients by sex in English hospitals last year.

They said the number of complaints about privacy and dignity had increased to more than 1,000.

And they claimed nearly half of hospitals still only use bays to segregate patients, one in six only use partitions and one in nine only use curtains.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “These figures show that they have failed. People will rightly ask how they can believe anything that the Labour government promises after their repeated failure to deliver on ending the scandal of mixed sex wards.”

A Tory spokesman said the figures came from a freedom of information request sent to all hospitals asking them about their patient segregation practices.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “We are proud of the work the NHS has done to tackle this problem.

“At the end of March this year, following the completion of over 1,000 schemes in more than 200 trusts - months after the period the Conservatives’ figures cover - 95% of NHS trusts confirmed that they have eliminated mixed-sex accommodation and the remainder confirmed they will do so in the next few months.”