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Norman Lamb: Number of patients on mixed-sex wards up 38% in a year

June 15, 2017 4:15 PM
Originally published by City of Nottingham Liberal Democrats

New figures have revealed the number of patients forced onto mixed-sex wards in the NHS has risen 38% in the past a year.

The Liberal Democrats have blasted the government and said it is an "affront to basic human dignity," calling on the Conservatives to reinstate a commitment to eliminate mixed-sex wards that was dropped from their 2017 manifesto.

The data shows there were 4000 breaches in the first five months of this year, up 38% compared to the 2,883 breaches in the same period last year.

This comes despite a 2015 Conservative manifesto pledge to eliminate mixed-sex wards altogether and repeated assurances from senior Conservatives that their use would come to an end.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb commented:

"The Conservatives used to boast about ending the use of mixed-sex wards. They then quietly dropped this pledge from their manifesto, and this record of failure shows why.

"Under this government's watch, the number of patients being forced to stay in mixed-sex accommodation has soared.

"It is an affront to basic human dignity. Men and women should never be forced to share hospital wards in a modern health service.

"Theresa May must recommit to ending this scandalous practice. The best way to do that would be to start properly funding the NHS to reduce the intolerable pressure it is under."


  • The Conservative Manifesto 2015 (p.37) stated: "We will ensure that English hospitals and GP surgeries are the safest in the world, places where you are treated with dignity and respect. We will continue to eliminate mixed-sex wards."
  • "Mixed sex wards virtually gone." Jeremy Hunt, Speech to Conservative Party Conference, 1 October 2013
  • "The number of hospital-acquired infections continues to go down and mixed-sex wards have been virtually eliminated." Jeremy Hunt, Hansard, 23 October 2012
  • "We said that we would sort out mixed-sex wards and hospital-acquired infections-promise delivered." David Cameron, Hansard, 18 March 2015, Column 756