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Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust RGB BLUE

Single Sex Accommodation - Declaration of Compliance

We are proud to confirm that as of Friday 26 March 2010, mixed sex accommodation has been eliminated* in our hospital.

As of April 2012, Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust carried out a complete audit to ensure the hospital is adhering to Department of Health guidelines regarding single sex accommodation. The Trust is fully compliant throughout all areas of the hospital.

Further information on our work to deliver same sex accommodation

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. Milton Keynes Hospital 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 virtually* eliminated in our organisation. Patients who are admitted to our hospital are placed in segregated sleeping areas and have easy access to same-sex toilets and bathrooms. Patients will only be placed in a mixed-sex sleeping area when it can be clinically justified; for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in the Department of Critical Care and Coronary Care (where the intensive nature of their care determines that for clinical observation purposes, they may share these areas), or when patients themselves choose to share.

(*only to happen based on a patient’s clinical need at the time of admission)

Same sex-accommodation applies to: same-sex wards where the whole ward is occupied by men or women only Single rooms Mixed-wards, where men and women are in separate bays or rooms.

It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share the ward bay where you are sleeping. 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 (eg 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 (eg 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 believe that providing same-sex accommodation is an effective way of giving all patients the best possible experience while they are in our hospitals. For Milton Keynes Hospital, the provision of same-sex accommodation directly relates to our philosophy, which includes our patients having access to comfortable facilities and a helpful and respectful attitude from our staff. This involves respecting our patients’ privacy and dignity while they are under our care.

Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will not turn patients away because a same sex bed is not immediately available.

What does this mean for patients?
Other than in the circumstances set out above, patients admitted to Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust can expect to find the following

What are our plans for the future?
Recognising that single sex accommodation is one of the elements central to a good patient experience, the Director of Nursing and nursing team are responsible for ensuring we continue to provide same-sex accommodation for patients All new developments will include the requirement for single sex accommodation, which is built into our plans and policies for all new developments, large or small. Having this regard to Privacy, Dignity and Single Sex Accommodation will be embedded, not only into our future designs for change but into our systems processes and procedures in the management of care.

How will we measure success?
We will measure success in a number of ways; some will come from patient feedback through exit questionnaires and interviews, correspondence from patients and inpatient surveys. Others will come from regular Matrons’ reports to our Board, the Boards’ Quality & Performance Scorecard identifying any breaches to the criteria within our Delivering Same Sex Policy the numbers of patient complaints related to mixed sex accommodation. Finally, by seeing for ourselves how these changes are being implemented through the regular walkabouts by members of the Board and Executives and by undertaking annual audits of compliance.

What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?
We want to know about your experiences. Please feel free to speak to the nurse caring for you, the ward manager or the matron during your stay. Alternatively, you can contact Julie Goodman, patient experience manager on 01908 2436181 if you have any comments, questions or concerns.