This number can be attributed to increased pressure on the NHS, and subsequent shortage of beds at hospitals. In large part, this is due to the coronavirus epidemic and years of reductions
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Many hospital patients were forced to sleep on mixed-sex wards, despite being banned 12 years ago.
These incidents have been recorded in England as 13,178 since October, according to new figures.
According to some, the main reason for the shortage of beds in the NHS’s hard-pressed NHS is the lack of availability.
Rachel Power, chief of Patients Association, said that the practice must be stopped. “an affront to patients’ dignity”.
She said: “Outside of emergency conditions the NHS must renew efforts to eliminate it.”
Men and women in the same wards were banned in 2010 – with certain exceptions – under a Mixed Sex Accommodation policy, carrying a £250 fine for every breach.
When the pandemic struck, the NHS overran the system and it was temporarily suspended. However, this February saw 2,796 breaches as compared with 2,837 in January.
Had penalties still been in place between October and February fines for hospitals would have hit £3.3million. Nuffield Trust’s deputy director of research Sarah Scobie said being put in the wrong sex ward was “distressing for patients”.
She continued: “ Covid-19 has seen performance against many targets slip further out of reach. Waiting times for beds have risen dramatically, contributing to the challenge of avoiding breaches.”
Dr Rayan Saghir, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, said that mixed-sex bays were not allowed. “very rare”. He said: “Hospital staff try their best to rearrange.
But if they’re struggling to find a bed and the patient needs admitting, what are you going to do?”
Maya Forstater, of the Sex Matters campaign, stated that the figures were “worrying – it can be uncomfortable for female patients to be faced with a male in a hospital gown that gapes open.”.
According to the Care Quality Commission: “We expect trusts to consider the rights of all patients in their care.”
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