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No more mixed sex wards at GWH
THE Great Western Hospital is one of just 15 trusts in the south west to have no mixed sex accommodation breaches in August.
New data published by the Department Of Health this week shows breaches – occasions where patients were unjustifiably placed in mixed sex accommodation – are at a record low in the region .
In August 2012 there were only 19 breaches in the south west, down from 1,181 in December 2010, when the data was first collected.
The most significant reductions in breaches in the south west were recorded at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (six to zero from July 2012 to August 2012).
At the GWH, the Ambulatory Care Unit, a new service introduced which has been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal awards, has led to the elimination of mixed sex wards.
Charlotte Cannon, the consultant physician on the Acute Assessment Unit, said: “Having a dedicated unit with senior consultants means patients are now assessed and treated more quickly.
“In addition, the expansion of the Acute Medical Unit means that specialist beds across the hospital are protected for patients with specialist needs.
“The length of stay for patients with an ambulatory condition has fallen by one day, there has been a 79 per cent reduction in patients being moved between wards and mixed sex accommodation has been eliminated.
“All of this means we are reducing the number of people who are admitted to hospital or referred by their GP, who don’t need to be here.
“This means we are freeing up more beds for those who need to stay in hospital overnight.”
Health Minister Dan Poulter said: "Nobody should have to suffer the indignity of mixed sex accommodation.
“Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff in the south west and the Government’s rigorous monitoring system, the number of patients placed in mixed sex accommodation has reduced by 99 per cent.
“Any hospital in the south west still placing patients in mixed sex accommodation will face fines of £250 per patient, per day for every breach.”