HC Deb 08 November 2001 vol 374 c362W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital beds were in mixed sex wards in each of the last five years. [12717]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 6 November 2001]: Hospital wards are usually subdivided into bays and these are designated male or female. Depending on case mix and local need, the exact proportion of male to female bays will vary. We are therefore unable to provide information at the level of the individual ward.

The national health service is working to eliminate mixed sex accommodation. Guidance on maintaining privacy and dignity was first issued to the service in 1997 and since then NHS trusts have been working towards clear targets to promote privacy and dignity in hospital wards.

These targets include the abolition of Nightingale wards for older people and £120 million has been allocated over the next three years to make progress towards this. Schemes to modify 233 wards have already been approved to commence work this year and further schemes will begin in the next two years.