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Privacy and Dignity

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is compliant with the Government's requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is the patient's overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same-sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area.

Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary (for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in our Intensive Care Unit) or when patients actively choose to share (for instance our Renal Dialysis Units).

If our care falls short of the required standard, we will report it and take action to prevent re-occurrence. We have also developed an audit mechanism to make sure that our processes and our staff continue to comply with eliminating mixed sex accommodation. We will publish the results of that audit on our website.

What does this mean for patients?

Other than in the circumstances set out above, patients admitted to York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust can expect to find the following:

Same sex-accommodation means:

  • The room where your bed is (a single room or 'bay' on the ward containing up to 5 other beds) 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 corridor 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 (for example on your way to X-ray or the operating theatre).

It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors, visitors 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.

We will not turn patients away just because the "right-sex" bed is not immediately available.

What are our plans for the future?

The Trust is wholly committed to eliminating mixed sex accommodation and has developed an action plan outlining how this will happen. We will take account of the principles of single sex accommodation when designing new buildings or making improvements to the areas that patients use.

We have made sure our signage is clear on wards and in bays to help protect your privacy and dignity when in hospital. We have made sure our staff are aware of the single sex accommodation requirements and their responsibilities to patients around this issue.

How will we measure success?

Our Board of Directors closely monitor how we are progressing against our action plan and receive regular reports about single sex accommodation.

We continue to seek patient's views on their experience every month and our Ward Sisters and Matrons act on that feedback.

In addition to our audit, we also measure our compliance through national and local patient surveys and comments and concerns received by our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), so it is important that you tell us about your experiences so that we can continue to improve.

What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?

We want to know about your experiences. Please contact York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) on 01904 726262 if you have any comments or concerns.

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The Trust is compliant with the Government's requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is the patient's overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

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