Would you believe it? I've just heard on the TV news that one of our local hospitals has been fined for allowing both sexes in the same ward. Apparently there were 17 transgressions in the last month. The hospital (the Great Western in Swindon) explained that they were largely on the admission and assessment ward. Presumably that is where emergency admissions end up if there's no room for on the regular wards. What do people want a hospital to do instead? Keep a couple of beds empty on every ward in case patients come in for a particular ward? Send patients home again rather than put them in one ward for a night? (There are curtains round the beds after all.) Ship them on to another hospital? (The JR in Oxford has the same problem.) Leave them in the corridors? Get real, someone! Hospitals have acute cases to cope with, and busy ones have more than the others. I'm not saying mixed wards are desirable.
But the biggest nonsense of all is fining, FINING of all daft ideas, hospitals who find themselves on occasions forced into second-best. No hospital doctor or manager wants to mix sexes in the wards. They don't deliberately do it. I assume that just sometimes that's the least worst option. What is the point of fining hospitals, which are already strapped for cash, thousands of pounds and making their jobs even harder? I sincerely hope that at least the fining nonsense is stopped in the health reforms going through Parliament at the moment.