Since April 2009, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been working hard to deliver same sex accommodation. To help demonstrate our commitment to this project, we successfully secured monies from the North West Strategic Health Authority (NWSHA).
This funding enabled us to:-
- Modify our hospital signage making it easier for patients to navigate to toilets, bathrooms and bays. The signs are appropriate for patients with memory and / or cognitive impairment and have been recognised as best practice by the NWSHA.
- Fit coloured privacy doors at the entrance to each bay improving privacy for patients, reducing the risk of infection and enabling patients to find their way to and from the toilet independently thus improving dignity for patients.
- Fit privacy screens for use in areas where sexes may be mixed for specialist clinical reasons for example, the Acute Stroke Bay (ASB).
- Securing a 12 month secondment for a Privacy and Dignity Matron. Funding for this post has since been provided by the Trust so that this important role continues
There has been a shift in culture within the Trust, with staff thinking carefully about patient placement. The clear link between privacy and dignity and being nursed with patients of the same sex is recognised by all staff, and they work hard to deliver this vitally important part of patient care.
Since September 2009, we have been monitoring our success in achieving same sex accommodation. We ask 100 patients each month about where and how they are treated.
Analysis of the results suggests that we are making good progress. During 2011/12, when asked if they were treated with dignity and respect during their stay, 100% of our patients said that this was the case.
Since September 2009 we have experienced incidences of mixed-sex accommodation at MCHFT, however measures we have introduced have dramatically reduced the numbers (or breaches). Our Emergency Assessment Unit has moved to a ward area and the Clinical Decisions Unit within the Emergency Department now operates a same-sex policy.
Results from our monthly patient experience survey are shared with the Trusts Patient Experience Committee, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust and the NWSHA. In addition, since April 2011, we now report any breaches in the same-sex sleeping accommodation nationally.
Delivering Same Sex Accommodation remains a key objective for the Trust and forms part of our 10 out of Ten quality commitment.
Privacy and Dignity Matron for
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust