Hospital Fines Add Up To Hundreds of Thousand Pounds For Mixed Sex Accommodation Breaches

Mixed Sex Accommodation - costly problem for hospitals

Mixed sex accommodation breaches are causing problems across the NHS for many departments, with real financial penalties of thousands of pounds being incurred each month.

In November 2010 the Chief Nursing Officer and Deputy NHS Chief Executive imposed new rules on NHS in order to eliminate mixed sex accommodation in hospitals. From April 2011 the fine of £250 per patient per breach per day was introduced to ensure compliance.

All breach cases are being reported and published in monthly disclosures on NHS England website to help patients decide which hospital to choose.

Facts About Mixed Sex Accommodation - Infographic

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Costly Consequences of Mixed Sex Accommodation

The latest report from March 2017 indicates a total number of 776 breaches of mixed sex accommodation in NHS England. The highest number of breaches in one hospital came up to 195, which taking into account the £250 fine per breach, would indicate that the hospital was fined in a single month the whooping £48,750.

The majority of Trusts can ill afford to pay out for these real, chargeable bills. As a consequence hospitals are faced with a necessity for costly wards reconstructions, building new walls or even ward relocations. In some cases patients operations and admissions are being cancelled.

Cost Effective Solution - Privacy Screens

A new and cost effective solution to mixed sex accommodation is KwickScreen - a portable retractable hospital privacy screen that can be fixed permanently to the wall or be portable on wheels. It can be quickly positioned between beds where men and women are beside each other.

Original guidance on mixed sex accommodation separation requires a floor to ceiling, fixed partition. However, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have since been permitted to exercise judgement in numerous situations where this costly solution is either impractical (most hospitals don’t have budget or space) or planned but not yet built. As a result many inspectors pass privacy screens KwickScreen as a compliant solution.

 Privacy screens KwickScreen at Tameside Hospital New Macmillan Unit - The Chemotherapy Treatment Room

Privacy screens KwickScreen at Tameside Hospital New Macmillan Unit - The Chemotherapy Treatment Room

Cost wise, unlike other solutions such as building walls and ward relocations, privacy screen KwickScreen should pay for itself within a month. Due to the size of the fines (£250 per patient per breach per day) it represents a clear cost saving to the many Trusts facing breach situations.

Developed on the NHS Design Bugs Out programme, hospital privacy screens KwickScreen are already used by over 90% NHS Trusts to combat challenges faced in Infection Control, Privacy and Dignity and Space Management cases. Privacy screen KwickScreen features the smallest storage footprint from all the privacy screens on the market, has passed all infection control clinical trials, is flexible and extremely practical.

Privacy screens KwickScreen have been successfully used to address mixed sex accommodation breaches at a number of Trusts including:

• Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT

• The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

• Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

• Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust

• North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

• Epsom & St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust

• Russells Hall Hospital

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with space management.