Despite previous pledges to put an end to the mixed-sex wards in NHS facilities the latest figures have shown that the number of people being treated on those wards rose to 908 in July.
Between August 2016 and July 2017 roughly 9,004 patients stayed on mixed-sex wards and the records show that the numbers have almost trebled in the space of two years. One year saw a massive 55% rise.
Here’s how the figures break down in detail:
- August 2014 – July 2015: 3,309
- August 2015 – July 2016: 5,830
- August 2016 – July 2017: 9,004
The figures make for disappointing reading since the Conservatives had pledged to end mixed-sex wards in both their 2010 and 2015 general election manifestos. However, once she was able to form a government, Theresa May swiftly dropped the pledge from the health policy.
Reports show that NHS patients are regularly dissatisfied with the relative lack of privacy while they are in hospital. Now with more people having to stay on mixed-sex wards that dissatisfaction is set to rise. Since 2014 scores for “privacy, dignity and wellbeing” have dipped by 4%.
A health spokesman for the Liberal Democrat party, Norman Lamb, has said: “Under Theresa May’s watch, we’ve seen a scandalous rise in the number of patients being forced to stay in mixed-sex wards.
“Men and women shouldn’t have to share hospital wards, it’s an affront to basic human dignity.
“It’s time to end the the continued underfunding of the NHS and care that is putting intolerable pressure on services and leading to these sorts of failures.
“The Conservatives once pledged to end mixed-sex wards, now it seems they’ve given up.
“The Government must recommit to closing mixed-sex wards instead of turning a blind eye.”
Meanwhile Justin Madders, the Labour Shadow Health Minister, also commented: “Theresa May’s first year as Prime Minister has been characterised by a collapse in patient standards, with hospitals bursting at the seams and wards overstretched.
“This unprecedented failure on mixed sex wards has left thousands more patients humiliated and lacking the basic dignity and respect they expect when being treated in hospital.”