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Home Industry News Mixed-sex ward warning issued to hospitals

Mixed-sex ward warning issued to hospitals

24th January 2011

Hospitals have been warned they will be fined if patients are placed on mixed-sex wards.

From April 2011, hospitals will be fined 250 pounds per day for each patient in mixed-sex accommodation, the Department of Health said.

The new fines could place significant financial strain on some hospitals, as figures for December 2010 show that more than 11,000 patients were placed in mixed accommodation without any justification.

Just 52 per cent of hospitals who submitted data reported no breaches of the guidelines.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the figures showed an "unacceptable" level of breaches.

Under the new guidelines, mixed-sex accommodation will only be accepted where it is in the patient's best interests or reflects their personal choice.

Responding to the announcement, Nigel Edwards, acting chief executive of the NHS Confederation, noted that many hospitals are in old buildings that will require substantial investment in order to address the issue.

"We need to understand why it is so difficult for them to stamp out the problem," he said.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800360233-ADNFCR

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