Our Declaration on Same Sex Accommodation

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to confirm that we are compliant with the Government’s requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in 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 the Critical Care Complex) or when patients actively choose to share (for instance on the Renal Dialysis Unit).

If our care should fall short of the required standard, we will report it. We have set up an audit mechanism to make sure that we do not misclassify any of our reports. We discuss the results of these audits at the monthly Privacy and Dignity Forum with representatives from our Commissioning organisation(s). We will publish information relating to compliance with, and audit of the guidelines as part of the Trust’s Annual Report.

What does this mean for patients?

Other than in the circumstances set out above, patients admitted to our hospital can expect to find the following:

• The room where your bed is 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 likely that there will be both male and female patients on the ward but patients of the opposite gender 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 a day room and you will see both male and female patients as you move around the hospital (e.g. on your way to x-ray or the operating theatre).

It is probable that visitors of the opposite sex will come into the ward area where your bed is and this may include patients visiting each other. It is also almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into the area of the ward where your bed is.

There are specific bathing and toileting facilities available for patients requiring help to use the toilet or take a bath. These facilities are able to offer specialist equipment and enable staff to remain with you. They are identified as assisted bathing areas, and as such are available to be used by both men and women. When being used, they do not allow any other patients to enter.

How will we measure success?

We ask patients every month to give us their views of their stay and we also carefully consider the results of the Care Quality Commission national inpatient surveys.

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

If you have any concerns about your accommodation being “mixed sex” during your admission, please ask to speak to the nurse in charge on your ward.

We want to know about your experience and we would ask you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01603 289036 if you have any concerns or comments.