Published: 17/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5851 Page 22

Like Dr Rowan Harwood (letters, 20 March), mixed-sex wards did not present me, as a doctor, with a problem.

But then I experienced one as a patient.

Following a serious car accident, which left me with multiple fractures, I found myself on a mixed-sex orthopaedic ward.

Being helped onto a bedpan and having my catheter attended to, while separated by just a curtain from young men on each side of me, meant a considerable loss of dignity.

This happened at a time when I was psychologically at a low ebb and caused more anguish than the pain I experienced from the injuries.

I do not know what generation Dr Harwood belongs to but I am middle aged and am sure I will feel the same when I am old enough to be treated by a geriatrician.

Surely we run hospitals for the comfort and wellbeing of patients, and not for the convenience of doctors?

Dr Helen Bond Consultant Ashford Hospital Middlesex