Dignity and Respect

​​Declaration of Compliance

​We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been virtually eliminated in both Whiston and St Helens hospitals.

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust is committed to providing every patient with same sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.

Patients who are admitted to any of 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 by exception based on clinical need. This would only occur in very specialist departments such as intensive care and may happen very rarely and for a short period of time in one of our emergency admissions departments.

We will never turn a patient away who needs emergency care even if this means we have to breach the standard for a limited time because the right sex bed isn't available. 

What does this mean for patients? 

Same sex-accommodation means: 

• 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 

Half of our hospital beds are in single rooms which have their own bathroom. 
The remainder are in bays or rooms containing 4 beds. The ward will have patients of both sexes but you will never have to share a bay with patients of the opposite sex. 

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 day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women 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 gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other. 

It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area. 

If you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (e.g. you need a hoist or special bath) then you may be taken to a "unisex" bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time. 

What are our plans for the future? 

In the very unlikely event that we have a temporary situation in which we accommodate a patient of the opposite sex in the same bay as you (this would only happen in one of the emergency admission departments), we will apologise to you formally and will ensure that a member of staff is based in the room with you to ensure that your privacy is maintained. 

If we have to undertake mixing of sexes in a bay for any length of time we will view this as a serious failure on our part and will declare to the organisations who commission our services that we have breached NHS good practice guidelines. 

How will we measure success? 

Each month we will check with a number of patients what their experience has been in the hospital. 
We will monitor our performance against this standard closely and will react quickly if we encounter a situation where we have breached standards. 

Patients are eligible for free NHS treatment at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching hospitals NHS Trust if they are: Ordinarily resident in the UK or: Overseas visitors, but entitled to free NHS services under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations

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