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Written Question
Hospital Wards: Females
Wednesday 1st May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government how they plan to strengthen the privacy and dignity of female patients in NHS hospitals.

Answered by Lord Markham - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government is committed to upholding the rights of women and girls and ensuring they are properly represented in healthcare services, communications, and guidance.

That is why we are currently consulting on updates to the NHS Constitution for England to shape the principles and values of the National Health Service and ensure the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients, including women, are embedded in how it operates.

Our proposed changes to the NHS Constitution reinforce the NHS’s commitment to providing single-sex wards and will empower patients to request that intimate care is carried out by someone of the same biological sex, where reasonably possible.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender
Friday 26th April 2024

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to direct NHS England to withdraw Annex B of its guidance Delivering same-sex accommodation, published in September 2019.

Answered by Lord Markham - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS England is updating their Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation guidance, and a revised version will be published in due course. It is imperative that National Health Service trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients. The Government has been clear that patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex, and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities.

As previously announced, proposals to protect the privacy, dignity, and safety of patients will be brought forward soon as part of the review of the NHS Constitution and its handbook. Any measures consulted on will be in line with the Equality Act 2010, respecting the rights of all patients in hospital settings.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender
Monday 18th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review their Delivering same-sex Accommodation guidance, published in September 2019, particularly Annex B: Delivering same-sex accommodation for trans people and gender variant children; and if so, when.

Answered by Lord Bethell

In September 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a revised version of the guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation. The team are reviewing feedback received and considering further revisions.

The guidance is clear that providers of National Health Service-funded care are expected to have a zero-tolerance approach to mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of all patients affected. There are some clinical circumstances where mixed sex accommodation can be justified. These are few, and mainly confined to patients who need highly specialised care, such as that delivered in critical care units.

There are currently no plans to withdraw the guidance. The guidance is relevant to all patients including patients who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment as set out in the Equality Act 2010. That is, a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning sex. The review will include consideration of whether the language used within the guidance needs to be clearer.

NHS trusts have not been asked to provide the information required to make an assessment of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender and there are no plans to ask them to do so. NHS trusts will be required to provide single sex services to patients, unless it is appropriate to do otherwise based on the patient’s clinical condition.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender
Monday 18th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to withdraw the Delivering same-sex Accommodation guidance, published in September 2019.

Answered by Lord Bethell

In September 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a revised version of the guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation. The team are reviewing feedback received and considering further revisions.

The guidance is clear that providers of National Health Service-funded care are expected to have a zero-tolerance approach to mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of all patients affected. There are some clinical circumstances where mixed sex accommodation can be justified. These are few, and mainly confined to patients who need highly specialised care, such as that delivered in critical care units.

There are currently no plans to withdraw the guidance. The guidance is relevant to all patients including patients who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment as set out in the Equality Act 2010. That is, a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning sex. The review will include consideration of whether the language used within the guidance needs to be clearer.

NHS trusts have not been asked to provide the information required to make an assessment of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender and there are no plans to ask them to do so. NHS trusts will be required to provide single sex services to patients, unless it is appropriate to do otherwise based on the patient’s clinical condition.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender Recognition
Monday 18th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Delivering same-sex Accommodation guidance, published in September 2019, provides for someone who is undergoing a personal process of changing gender but who (1) is not planning to undergo, (2) is not currently undergoing, or (3) has not undergone, gender reassignment by changing physiological or other attributes of sex; and if so, why.

Answered by Lord Bethell

In September 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a revised version of the guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation. The team are reviewing feedback received and considering further revisions.

The guidance is clear that providers of National Health Service-funded care are expected to have a zero-tolerance approach to mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of all patients affected. There are some clinical circumstances where mixed sex accommodation can be justified. These are few, and mainly confined to patients who need highly specialised care, such as that delivered in critical care units.

There are currently no plans to withdraw the guidance. The guidance is relevant to all patients including patients who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment as set out in the Equality Act 2010. That is, a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning sex. The review will include consideration of whether the language used within the guidance needs to be clearer.

NHS trusts have not been asked to provide the information required to make an assessment of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender and there are no plans to ask them to do so. NHS trusts will be required to provide single sex services to patients, unless it is appropriate to do otherwise based on the patient’s clinical condition.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender Recognition
Monday 18th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender on (1) the treatment of such patients, and (2) other patients accommodated in the same wards.

Answered by Lord Bethell

In September 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a revised version of the guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation. The team are reviewing feedback received and considering further revisions.

The guidance is clear that providers of National Health Service-funded care are expected to have a zero-tolerance approach to mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of all patients affected. There are some clinical circumstances where mixed sex accommodation can be justified. These are few, and mainly confined to patients who need highly specialised care, such as that delivered in critical care units.

There are currently no plans to withdraw the guidance. The guidance is relevant to all patients including patients who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment as set out in the Equality Act 2010. That is, a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning sex. The review will include consideration of whether the language used within the guidance needs to be clearer.

NHS trusts have not been asked to provide the information required to make an assessment of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender and there are no plans to ask them to do so. NHS trusts will be required to provide single sex services to patients, unless it is appropriate to do otherwise based on the patient’s clinical condition.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender
Monday 18th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether hospitals are required to provide single-sex services to patients.

Answered by Lord Bethell

In September 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a revised version of the guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation. The team are reviewing feedback received and considering further revisions.

The guidance is clear that providers of National Health Service-funded care are expected to have a zero-tolerance approach to mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of all patients affected. There are some clinical circumstances where mixed sex accommodation can be justified. These are few, and mainly confined to patients who need highly specialised care, such as that delivered in critical care units.

There are currently no plans to withdraw the guidance. The guidance is relevant to all patients including patients who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment as set out in the Equality Act 2010. That is, a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning sex. The review will include consideration of whether the language used within the guidance needs to be clearer.

NHS trusts have not been asked to provide the information required to make an assessment of the impact of allowing patients to self-identify their gender and there are no plans to ask them to do so. NHS trusts will be required to provide single sex services to patients, unless it is appropriate to do otherwise based on the patient’s clinical condition.