Privacy and dignity

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. Airedale NHS Trust is committed to providing every patient with same-sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.

We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been virtually eliminated in our hospital. Patients will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area. All of our general wards have doors to the entrance of each bay in order to safeguard privacy and reduce noise.

Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen by exception based on clinical need (for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in the intensive care unit, coronary care unit and high dependency unit) When this occurs, we will always aim to transfer patients to an appropriate ward once it is clinically safe to do so.

In other wards, such as the Children’s Ward, children may chose to share a room/bay and this is based on the needs and choice of each child.

The Trust has complied with the Department of Health guidance to virtually eliminate mixed sex accommodation and its declaration of compliance was approved by the Trust’s Board of Directors at their board meeting on 24 February 2011.

What does this mean for patients at Airedale Hospital?

Same sex-accommodation means:

  • The room where your bed is will only have patients of the same sex as you
  • Your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area

It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may have to cross a ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.

You may share some communal space, such as day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women patients as you move around the hospital (eg on your way to X-ray or the operating theatre).

It is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, and this may include patients visiting each other.

It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area.

If you need help to use the toilet or take a bath (eg you need a hoist or special bath) then you may be taken to a “unisex” bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.

The NHS will not turn patients away just because a “right-sex” bed is not immediately available

What are our plans for the future?

Airedale Hospital has a clear policy to ensure that our patients are cared for in an appropriate care environment that meets their individual needs. This is monitored on a daily basis by our matrons so that we can make sure that we can deal quickly with any concerns or issues that you may have.

How will we measure our success?

On discharge from hospital, our patients may be asked to take part in a real time, on-line survey, which asks for feedback on our accommodation and toilet/wash facilities. We would like to know about your experiences and we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete the survey if you are approached by a member of staff.

What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?

Please contact the ward sister or a member of the ward team if you have any comments or concerns. You may also wish to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) office located at the entrance to Ward 18 and is open weekdays from 9am to 4pm. Tel: 01535 294019 Email: