Hospital Wards: Gender

(asked on 21st April 2020) - View Source

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 Portrait
Lord Bethell
This question was answered on 18th May 2020

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.

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