Single Sex Accommodation

Logo for thr Single Sex Accomodation projectPrivacy, dignity and same-sex accommodation

The NHS is committed to making sure that all patients receive high-quality care that is safe, effective and focused on their needs. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts fully supports the NHS Constitution commitment to ensuring that every patient has the right to privacy and to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that providing same-sex accommodation is an effective way of helping to achieve this goal and of giving all patients the Best Care and best experience while they are in one of our hospitals.

What do we mean by mixed-sex and same-sex accommodation? 

Mixed-sex accommodation is where men and women have to share sleeping areas or toilet and washing facilities Same-sex accommodation is where specific sleeping areas and toilet and washing facilities are designated as either men-only or women-only. It is acceptable for patients of the opposite sex to share assisted washing and toilet facilities but not at the same time.

Same-sex accommodation can be provided in same-sex wards, where the whole ward is occupied by men or women only single occupancy rooms, or on mixed wards where men and women are in separate bays or rooms.

Toilet and washing facilities should be easily accessible and, ideally, be either inside or next to the ward, bay or room. Patients should not need to go through sleeping areas or toilet and washing facilities used by the opposite sex to access their own facilities.

Is mixed-sex accommodation ever acceptable? 

We recognise that in some situations patients of the opposite sex may have to share facilities. Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen however by clinical exception, i.e. when the patient needs critical or very specialised care. At our hospitals this will be limited to the Respiratory Support Unit (ward 43), our Hyper Acute Stroke Service (Ward 53) and Intensive Care Unit at King's Mill Hospital.

Where mixing does occur in this situation, we will transfer you to a same sex environment as soon as your clinical condition allows.

We also acknowledge that in our Chemotherapy (Welcome Treatment Centre) and Renal Units mixing of the sexes can be appropriate and even desirable. However, even in these areas the decision will be based on the needs of individual patients.

What to do if you have any concerns

If you are at all concerned about the environment into which you will be admitted or cared for, please speak to a member of staff at the earliest opportunity.  Your care will not be affected in any way.

You can also speak to a member of our Patient Experience Team by telephoning 01623 672222.