The pressures placed on modern day hospitals, particularly on the NHS, are mounting every year. Growing populations mean growing demands on healthcare, with demand outstripping supply in many hospitals globally. The number of patients having to endure mixed sex accommodation has trebled in the last two years reports show.
In the NHS, financial penalties of thousands of pounds are being incurred every month since the introduction of a fining system put in place in 2011. Hospitals are charged £250 a day per patient that is placed on a mixed-sex ward.
Everybody admitted to hospital should have the right to their dignity being preserved, and their safety being paramount. However in some cases there is just no alternative, especially in emergency cases where patients require immediate medical attention, or in hospitals that simply do not have enough space to accommodate the number of patients.
MSA breaches since 2011:
Simple Solution to a Complex Problem
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, financially or spatially, or planned but not yet built. As a result many inspectors are passing privacy screens as a compliant solution.
Flexible room dividers can be used to separate individual beds from each other or to completely section off areas of wards. Medical partition screens allow for not only a physical barrier between patients which preserves privacy and dignity, but also acts as a psychological barrier which has been proven to increase feelings of safety amongst patients.
Opting for a screen of this kind is also highly cost effective. The latest report from November 2018 indicates a total number of 2058 breaches of mixed sex accommodation in NHS England. The highest number of breaches in one trust came to 576. Stretched as it is, the NHS can ill afford to pay out for these huge bills.
A catch-22 scenario presents itself, as ward reconstructions and new builds necessary to divide ward spaces also comes at a hefty price. The simple installation of a screen partition can solve this two-fold issue, being a far more affordable solution to offset these huge fines and solve privacy partitioning.
KwickScreens have solved the problem of mixed sex accommodation breaches in a number of NHS trusts throughout the UK. KwickScreens can either be attached to the wall in between bed bays or provided as a portable option so they can be wheeled in when necessary or removed easily when not needed. KwickScreen features the smallest storage footprint from all the privacy screens on the market, so when retracted or not in use, hardly any precious ward space is taken up.
Mixed sex accommodation breaches are clearly an issue that needs addressing. Hospitals are incurring huge fines when simple cost effective solutions are on the market. If you are in need of a quick, effective solution, get in touch to see how we can help.