Mixed-sex wards: a survey of patient's opinions.


The proposed change in the location of the observation ward of Royal Victoria Hospital from a single-sex ward with separate toilet and washing facilities for men and women to a mixed-sex ward with shared toilet facilities prompted this survey. The observation ward is attached to a major adult accident and emergency (A&E) unit and the observation ward is staffed by the A&E doctors. Patients admitted were over 13 years of age and required observation and investigation for a large variety of acute reasons. Patients were generally discharged within 24h. Relocation took place in August, 1990. The first ward had two six-bedded bays, each single-sex. The second ward was a Nightingale-type ward where male and female patients were mixed. The nurses tried to avoid men and women being in beds directly opposite to each other. The beds however were quite close to each other and there was no way of avoiding men and women being in neighbouring beds. There was no partitioning in the ward except around the nurses station, and curtains could not be kept drawn as all patients had to be observed at all times. The first ward had separate toilet and washing facilities for men and women; the second ward had toilet and washing facilities which had to be shared between men Oi1d women although the nurses tried to ensure that only men or women used the facilities at any one time. A simple questionnaire was used to obtain patients' opinions on the arrangement of sexes in the ward and on the toilet and washing facilities. To make it less obvious that these points in particular were being assessed there were other questions on meals, waking times, visiting arrangements, nursing care, medical care and availability of information on illness or treatment. Patients were asked whether these points were rated as good, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Information on marital status was requested and space was provided on the form for comment. Patients were given the questionnaire while in the ward, encouraged to fill it in and return it before departure. The questionnaires were filled in by patients anonymously and entirely on their own. Fifty-seven questionnaires were filled in by patients in the first (single-sex six-bedded-bay) ward and 194 questionnaires

1 Figure or Table

Cite this paper

@article{Hadden1993MixedsexWA, title={Mixed-sex wards: a survey of patient's opinions.}, author={D. S. Hadden and Christine Dearden and Gloria J Ross}, journal={Archives of emergency medicine}, year={1993}, volume={10 4}, pages={354-6} }