Same sex ward rules fine threat
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust risks a fine of up to £11,500 for breaching government policy on single-sex wards.
According to data from NHS England, the Trust recorded 46 instances of ‘unjustified’ mixedsex accommodation in the 12 months to April 2018.
Rules have been in place since 2011 to ensure male and female patients are treated in separate bays, which campaigners say is vital for protecting patients’ dignity.
More than half of NHS trusts in England now ensure men and women are separated at all times.
Hospital trusts that flout the rules face a £250 fine each time - although penalties were relaxed between January and February during the winter crisis.
Campaign group The Patients Association said it is “concerned” about increasing numbers of rule breaches.
Across the UK, failure to comply with the rules - which apply even if patients do not stay the night - more than doubled from 675 in April ‘17 to 1,584 the following year.