Justice at last on mixed sex wards scandal
Posted Wednesday 28 January 2009
Today the Health Secretary Alan Johnson has announced a package of measures aimed at eliminating mixed sex wards.
Commenting on the plans, Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"We warmly welcome the £100m investment announced today by the Government towards finally abolishing mixed sex wards. For too long now vulnerable mental health inpatients have been put in mixed ward environments where they have no privacy and are made to feel uncomfortable and even unsafe. Over three quarters of female mental health inpatients were treated in mixed sex accommodation last year; this is an unacceptable state of affairs and it is only right that this scandal is at last being addressed.
"Mental Health Trusts must now act swiftly to develop their plans to eliminate mixed sex accommodation and the new Care Quality Commission will face the challenge of monitoring this implementation. We will be holding the Government and the Care Quality Commission to account on this issue. It is vital that mental health wards are places where patients can feel confident and secure enough to progress towards recovery."
The latest Healthcare Commission 'Count Me In' census, which monitors the number of inpatients in mental health hospitals in England and Wales, shows that 68% of mental health inpatients are still being housed on mixed sex wards. Women were even less likely to be given single-sex accommodation than men, with 78% treated on a mixed-sex ward in comparison to 61% of men.
Notes to editors
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