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Dignity and Respect

The Trust puts diversity, equality and human rights at the heart of all our business as employer. By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, the Trust can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier. For the Trust, this means making us more accountable to the patients we serve and tackling discrimination in the work place.


Privacy, dignity and same-sex

The NHS is committed to making sure that all patients receive high-quality care that is safe, effective and focused on their needs. The NHS Constitution states that all patients have the right to privacy and to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that providing same-sex accommodation is an effective way of helping to achieve this goal and of giving all patients the best possible experience while they are in hospital.

Declaration of Compliance 2016/17 South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to confirm that the Trust is compliant with the Department of Health and NHS England’s requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation.

The necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our community and in-patient facilities will be in single rooms that have en-suite facilities or will be close to designated same-sex bathrooms and toilets.

If in a clinical emergency it is necessary to admit a service user to a single bedroom with en-suite facilities onto a corridor which is designated for use by the opposite gender a full risk assessment will be undertaken to safeguard their privacy and dignity.

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.

What do we mean by mixed-sex and same-sex accommodation?

Mixed-sex accommodation is where men and women have to share sleeping areas or toilet and washing facilities. Same-sex accommodation is where specific sleeping areas and toilet and washing facilities are designated as either men-only or women-only.

Same-sex accommodation can be provided in:

  • same-sex wards, where the whole ward is occupied by men or women only
  • single roomsmixed wards, where men and women are in separate bays or rooms.

Toilet and washing facilities should be easily accessible and, ideally, either inside or next to the ward, bay or room. Patients should not need to go through sleeping areas or toilet and washing facilities used by the opposite sex to access their own.