WESTERN Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has gone more than six months without any breaches of the rules on providing patients with single sex accommodation. The Trust has been identified by the Department of Health as one of the organisations which has reported no breaches since May.
The last breach reported by the Trust – which runs St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham – was back in February.
Department of Health rules demand that patients admitted to hospitals should share rooms where they sleep with members of the same sex, unless it is clinically necessary (such as on ITU), or where patients actively choose to share.
It has met these requirements through a programme of refurbishing existing clinical areas, and ensuring that privacy and dignity is paramount in the planning of new clinical areas. Cathy Stone, Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Trust, said: “We consider that it is fundamentally important to ensure that patients feel their privacy and dignity is respected and protected. People expect that, and rightly so.
“Providing single sex accommodation in a busy hospital, while still making sure everyone gets the right care at the right time, is actually very difficult to guarantee. It is a clear priority for staff when admitting patients to the hospital.”
The Trust is in the top 20 per cent nationally for treating patients with dignity and respect.