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Why is same sex accommodation so important

Why is same-sex accommodation so important?


It is clear from what patients tell us that being in mixed-sex accommodation can compromise their privacy and dignity at a time when they may already be feeling vulnerable. The most common concerns include physical exposure, being in an embarrassing or threatening situation, noise, and the possibility of other patients overhearing conversations about their condition. Women, and elderly women in particular, are most likely to worry about being in mixed-sex accommodation, although male patients also say that they feel reluctant to talk openly and find it embarrassing to be in a mixed-sex setting. Some patients are also strongly opposed to mixed-sex accommodation for cultural or religious reasons. 

Is mixed-sex accommodation ever acceptable?


There are no exemptions from the need to provide high standards of privacy and dignity. However, it is recognised that in some circumstances it might be appropriate to have patients in mixed-sex accommodation for clinical reasons. This includes situations where patients need urgent, highly specialised or high-tech care. When making this decision staff must make sure that it is in the interests of all patients affected, ensuring all that an be done is done to maintain the patients privacy and dignity at all times, and work to move patients into same-sex accommodation as quickly as possible.