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A number of patients experiencing the embarrassment of mixed-sex hospital wards have risen by about 50 percent under Theresa May and more than 8,500 patients were put in such wards throughout the Prime Minister ’s first year at No 10, up on 5,700 the year before.

Hospitals are penalised £250 per patient per day for breaching rules on keeping patients on single-sex wards. However, Labour announced Tory cuts mean hospitals are bursting at the seams with no option but to breach the rules.

MPs called it a scan­­dal, maintaining mixed-sex wards are an affront to basic human dignity and the Tories promised to abolish mixed-sex wards effectively in both their 2010 and 2015 manifestos but the promise had disappeared when it came to this year’s election.

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From July last year, when Theresa May first moved to Downing Street, until June this year there were 8,546 examples of mixed-sex ward use, up 49 percent on the 5,720 in the year before.

The numbers were slipped out hours before Theresa May began her three-week summer holiday.

Patients demand dignity and respect in hospital but this Government is letting them down and it’s an absolute disgrace and an insult to basic human decency and we must make certain the Tories start properly financing the NHS to stop this offensive practice.

After the Tories introduced penalties in 2010 a number of episodes dropped 94 percent from almost 12,000 a month to 687 in June this year and the Government’s obvious determination to abandon its pledge to stop mixed-sex wards is but another sign of the economic demands on the NHS.

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But do you see Jeremy Hunt or any other political body in an NHS ward or mixed department for that? Not in a million years, yet Jeremy Hunt tells us all is well, therefore why do the Tories even have a manifesto, when they don’t even carry out anything in it?

Didn’t the Tories say they would deal with this dilemma, many moons ago? But then again they say a lot of stuff.

Website-NHS.pngMixed-sex wards on the NHS have been the subject of manifesto promises and political promises for over a decade. Labour pledged to remove them in 1997. Now, years later, the government has promised to do precisely the same but they have now been abolished it in Scotland.

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Andy Burnham concluded that 95 percent of hospitals are now able to implement single-sex care, while the conversion of the other 5 percent would install an added fiscal strain on the already cash-strapped NHS.

So why is getting rid of mixed-sex wards such an article of faith? Given reasonable measures of privacy at the bedside, is there any great demand to have zero patience of mixed-sex accommodation? Why should it be more convenient to obtain treatment or recover amongst members of the same sex?

Everything is wrong with mix-sex wards, particularly when you’re relying on others to assist you with bodily functions, the last thing you want to fret about is if you’re flashing at a member of the opposite sex.

Dignity, privacy, respect and when people are enduring treatment and having to spend it in mix-sex wards, some patients can find the experience very embarrassing and upsetting and mixed wards are unacceptable.

Most people want single sex wards for the same reason that most people want single-sex changing rooms in public sports or social amenities.

We don’t have same sex public toilets, so why should we have same sex hospital wards?

Being in a hospital makes people feel helpless because in addition to the disheartening or terrifying reality of being sick, and incapacitated, they have to cope with forced intimacy with strangers in ways that don’t occur in their everyday lives and men and women have their self-esteem about not being seen by strangers of the opposing sex, especially, (except for professionals) in such circumstances.

Mixed sex wards in psychiatry are frequently dangerous to women and their chance of being sexually violated rises exponentially on entry to an acute psychiatric admissions ward. Furthermore, there could be challenges under the Health Research Authority (HRA) from women kept in mixed sex psych wards on the grounds of debasing treatment if there is the inadequate division of gender provision for bathing, dressing and so on.

On a mixed sex adult psych ward, it is extremely hard to guarantee women’s safety, especially when they are themselves sexually disinhibited and this frequently leads to intensive care unit admissions that could have been evaded had they had single sex provision.

The worst thing about a stay in a hospital, apart from being ill, that is. Is the guy in the next bed refusing to stay in bed and also refusing to put his withered rooster and gobbled neck nuts away as he wonders around the ward?

It’s not only horrible for patients of the opposite sex, it’s also horrible for visitors. People just want a bit of dignity, for themselves and others.

It’s not just a concern to elderly women, but the young woman also feels immensely unsafe, particularly when you’re put in one of those terrible open at the back gowns when you’re hauling yourself to the loo keeping the thing sealed with one hand while wheeling a drip bag with the other, with the worst concern of all, that a collection of men are getting a flash of your butt.

The quality of nursing has evolved dramatically, which is rather horrifying when patients are being managed with a total absence of respect, particularly dementia patients, who are apparently being left laying on beds with their genitals completely exposed.

Evidently, when it was brought to the nurses attention she just giggled, rearranged his attire and under her breath responded to her coworker that he was a big boy, now this might have been amusing in a Carry On film, but this is entirely unacceptable in a real life situation, and whilst this man’s embarrassment wasn’t severe enough in an all male ward, it would have been considerably worse in a mixed ward.

Obviously, not all patients can have their own room, but we should have single sex wards, particularly when the dignity of patients is sadly too often not given the preference by nurses that it should be.

Maybe we should have public toilet that are unisex and that we all urinate in one place, failing that we could all wander down the street with our arses hanging out of our pants, but that would be classified indecent exposure, yet it’s okay to wander around like that in hospital or leave a dementia patient with his tackle on show because he or she has no idea what is going on.

Most people would not want to stay in a mixed-sex ward in a hospital, and rightly so, and just because you’re in a hospital doesn’t mean you have to leave your dignity and need for privacy at the door.

Mixed wards genuinely bother some people and upset others. Just as single sex restrooms, which some companies have attempted to introduce.

Some patients roam around in the night as well. I was in the hospital once and one patient was rambling about talking to herself, she unquestionably had some form of dementia. I am a rather laid back person, so was not too concerned, however, when she started coming over and peering through my bag, that’s when I began getting a little concerned. Regrettably, during the night, the unfortunate lady had a heart attack.

What matters is how people feel. If they already feel vulnerable, as various people do in a hospital, then every attempt should be made to ensure they are comfortable and as at ease as possible.

Human beings are not robots and they have feelings.

One of the greatest health hazards posed to humans is a lack of sleep, sleep is far more critical to our overall health than the public appears to appreciate. If you are put in a situation of staying vigilant because falling asleep leaves you vulnerable, your health and your overall care is dangerously jeopardised.

You will need a prolonged stay in the hospital and you won’t improve as well. All of this costs. Analyse balancing those costs against the costs of having single-sex wards, identifying of course that the vast preponderance of current wards is single sex.

Sometimes, when you are sick or medicated, you are less apt to manage your attire when moving around the ward, particularly if that attire is a hospital garment.

Sometimes the curtains are opened and closed carelessly by staff, family members et cetera, exposing the patient to the view of other patients and possibly visitants.

Sometimes doctors and nurses want to discuss intimate things with patients, or vice-versa, and noise transfers through curtains. That’s serious enough, but if there are members of the opposing sex present, it simply adds to the humiliation.

Those of you who insist on believing that this is all about people being prudish, spare one minute to reflect those that have been victims of sexual attacks and we should quit attempting to transform this into a simplistic modern’ vs ancient philosophy thing because it really isn’t.

I am not at all prudish, I wish Britain was less prudish about the human body, but that is immaterial to whether or not hospitals have mixed sex wards.

Should you be one of those who are assaulted on a mixed sex ward I can only imagine that your opinion would change and had you previously been a victim of a sexual attack then your position would be different, to begin with.

Men and women’s bodies are not only different to look at they are medically diverse and we have different issues, a single-sex ward could be seen as more specialist, as the staff would have to consider less likely complexities than they would on a mixed sex ward.

Most people would view their dignity as utterly essential and would not sacrifice it other than in a life-or-death situation. Segregated wards are comparatively simple to arrange in an economical way.

Preserving your dignity while in the hospital is up there with getting the appropriate doctor, the proper medications and the appropriate aftercare. Not everybody will agree on this, but there are lots of people out there that do, and it’s their health service also.

Wards are places where patients go to heal, sleep, eat and rest. They are not a place where actual, surgery, et cetera takes place.

It should be obvious that if any interruption of this healing process happens, then it’s a health problem and most people feel that mixed sex wards are a disturbance and a problem, hence influencing the health outcomes of the patients.

It’s all extremely liberating and all that to not mind being on a mixed-sex ward, but the truth is that there is a huge portion of the populace who did not have the opportunity of growing up in these oh-so-enlightened times and feel vulnerable and unsafe in such a situation.

Attacks and numerous other abhorrent confrontations do happen in hospitals, and many people can deal with it, however, they shouldn’t be put in that position in the first place.

The health service is not a charity, we fund and are empowered to have a say in how we want it to be run, but there are a number of people who state that we should be thankful for what we get kind of approach, which is nonsense, we should demand to be treated with respect in spite of the fact that there are funding difficulties with the NHS.

Do you believe that the likes of Theresa May and all the other cabinet gatherings would accept being jostled into a mixed sex ward against their will? No, of course not. They think that their money gains them reverence so they can command their options.

Well, we fund for the NHS too, and should be treated with reverence, and not accept the stance that appears to be being presented here that, somehow, we are not worthy enough so should simply accept what we’re given. Well dangly bits to that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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