Delivering Same Sex Accommodation Action Plan Statement of Compliance
Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is committed to providing every patient with same sex accommodation because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.
We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been eliminated in our hospitals. Patients who are admitted to any of our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with people of the same sex, and will be able to access same sex toilets and bathrooms close to their bed area.
There will be occasions when it is not possible to care for patients in a same sex environment; this is most likely to happen if a patient needs emergency or specialist care. In that situation, clinical (medical) need will take priority over keeping the patient apart from other patients of the opposite sex. This is to make sure patients receive appropriate treatment as quickly as possible and will only happen by exception.
What does this mean for our patients?
Other than in exceptional circumstances, patients admitted to Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust can expect to find the following:
Same sex-accommodation means:
- The room where your bed is will only have patients of the same sex as you
- Your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area
It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may have to cross a ward to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.
You may share some communal space, such as day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women patients as you move around the hospital (e.g. on your way to X-ray or the operating theatre).
It is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other.
It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area.
If you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (e.g. you need a hoist or special bath) then you may be taken to a “unisex” bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.
The NHS will not turn patients away just because a “right-sex” bed is not immediately available
What are our plans for the future?
This plan details specific actions we are taking at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to ensure that we have the right systems and processes in place to enable your privacy and dignity to be preserved and ensure you have a good experience within our organisation whether as a patient, carer or visitor
How will we measure success?
We are working hard to ensure you have the best possible experience at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, to this end we will continue to audit your experience and satisfaction. You may be approached for your views through a process of monthly audit, ward based patient satisfaction surveys and through quarterly postal surveys. We aim to listen and take action when you bring issues to our attention. Our staff, including Directors on the Trust Board are committed to further improving your experience and are looking forward to receiving monthly reports on progress regarding outcomes and actions taken throughout the organisation.
What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?
A leaflet entitled ‘Same Sex Accommodation, Your Privacy, Our responsibility will be available in all patient bedside folders as of 1st April 2011, if you are placed in a bay with patients of the opposite sex, a nurse or doctor will explain why that has been necessary and make every effort to maintain your privacy whilst in that area. You will be moved to a same sex area as soon as it is safe to do so. If you feel you do not understand why you have been placed in a mixed sex environment, or are anxious about being in a mixed sex area, please speak to a member of ward staff.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of your care you can speak to the ward sister, nurse in charge or matron. Please do not be nervous about raising concerns — we are here to help, listen and respond.
If you feel your concerns have not been resolved by ward staff then you can speak to our Patient Services who will advise and help you.
Telephone: 0800 587 0562