South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
Your Privacy, Our Responsibility
Declaration of compliance
We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been virtually eliminated in all our hospitals
Further information on our work to deliver same sex accommodation
Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is committed to providing every patient with same sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.
Eliminating Mixed Sex Accommodation- Declaration of compliance
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to confirm that we are compliant with the Government’s requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in the patient’s overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.
We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same-sex toilets and bathroom will be close to their bed area.
Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in the intensive care/high dependency unit.
We do not anticipate any situation where our care would fall short of the required standard, however in the unlikely event of this occurring we will report it to the Board and the Commissioners of our service. We will also set up an audit mechanism to make sure that we do not misclassify any of our reports.
On behalf of the Board of Directors - March 2012 for further information click hereSame sex accommodation: your privacy, our responsibility (Department of Health, 2009)
At South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust we have always placed high importance in ensuring the privacy & dignity of patients.
We continually strive to improve the patient experience when using any of our services and receive feedback through the National Inpatient Surveys conducted every year and by local surveys conducted within the Trust.
We have an annual programme of ward and department refurbishments, which includes providing toilet and shower facilities in ean multi bedded bay, and create additional en suite single rooms wherever possible.
Further information about privacy & dignity is found below:
Privacy & dignity matters
We realise that coming into hospital can be a stressful and anxious time.
It is vital to us that you feel you are treated with dignity and respect at all times, and that we maintain your privacy.
We recognise that there are some treatments and investigations which can be particularly embarrassing for patients, and we do our utmost to minimize this.
Understanding what matters to you
There have been national and local surveys to find out what patients feel are important in maintaining privacy, dignity and respect, whilst in hospital.
Inpatient facilities matter
In wards across the Trust we never have male and female patients being cared for in the same bay.
The only place where this may occur is in the Intensive Care/High Dependency Unit, until you are able to be cared for in a ward area. We will always inform you and your family prior to arrival to the unit that you may be cared for in a mixed sex bay, as priority is given to treating you in this specialist environment. We will do all we can in these circumstances to maintain your privacy & dignity by using screens and curtains and providing greater observation by nursing staff in the unit.
In the Emergency Assessment Unit and all adult wards each bay has a door which can be closed and curtains around beds and at corridor windows, to ensure privacy can be maintained for the patients in that bay.
The curtains have been designed to overlap, to prevent gaps when you are being cared for, and privacy curtains are available where you shower and bathe. You will not have to share toilet or washing facilities with members of the opposite sex
Call bells are available by every bed and in toilets, showers and bathrooms. Patients are advised that the purpose of the nurse call system is to inform staff that assistance is required. The Trust would like to reassure patients that they should feel able to lock toilet, bathroom and shower room doors, as these are all accessible from the outside by nursing staff.
We are committed to improving our facilities and have recently refurbished two wards and the Emergency Assessment Unit so that each bed bay has an easy access toilet and shower facility within the bay, and increased the number of en suite single rooms.
We have an ongoing programme to introduce these facilities in all adult wards. We do have a day room in each ward, as we recognise some patients like to chat to other patients whilst they are in hospital.
Day care/investigation facilities
We offer day care facilities across the trust, such as the endoscopy unit, day surgery unit, outpatients department, radiology and moorlands day hospital. Those patients requiring coronary angiography (speciaist heart investigations) are cared for in a same sex bay.
Endoscopy day unit
We recognise that patients recovering from a procedure, particularly following sedation will want to recover in an environment which maintains their privacy. The unit has separate bays for male & female patients, with bed and bay curtains and a door which can be closed to provide full privacy.
Day surgery / treatment unit
The unit cares for patients who are having day surgery operations, but also investigations and day treatment. We always ensure that male & female patients are cared for in single sex bays.
We have a number of outpatient departments, which have a range of clinics for a variety of specialties running at the same time.
The designated seating areas are for male and female patients, however all consultations will take place in a private clinic room.
If it is necessary to examine you as part of the consultation we will ensure your privacy is maintained by having a screened area for you to undress, with use of blankets or sheets to maintain your modesty.
A number of our consulting rooms also have a separate examination room, again to promote your privacy.
Children’s Assessment Unit / Ward
We have a children’s assessment unit and children’s ward which cares for babies and children. It is usual that we care for children of similar ages rather than have a “boys area” and “girls area”.
We have interview rooms, treatment and procedure rooms to ensure we maintain the child’s privacy & dignity and all bed spaces have curtains to provide privacy.
We constantly review our visiting times in the Trust, and have recognized the need to ensure you have adequate rest and recuperation, with quiet times on the ward (please refer to our visiting leaflet).
We have also introduced protected mealtimes across all adult wards, to enable you to enjoy mealtimes without being interrupted by staff or visitors. If you require assistance with your meals and would prefer that a family member attend to this need, this can be arranged with the ward staff.
Treatment rooms are available on a number of wards which allow dressings and procedures to be done, away from your bed area.
There are quiet rooms also available in many wards, so if you wish to have a private discussion, please speak to the nurse in charge.
Maintaining patient confidentiality is vital, and we will ask permission from you before sharing information with others, please remember that sharing information over the telephone with relatives may be difficult due to the need to maintain confidentiality
We have individual name boards at the head of the bed and an overall patient name board near the nurses station. If you do not want your name displayed please inform the nursing staff.
A clean ward matters
We would like to reassure you that we place high importance in providing a clean and safe environment for patients, visitors and staff.
At the entrance of every ward & department we have information about how we maintain the cleanliness of the area. We ask you to help us by alerting staff if you find something in an area which does not meet the standard of cleanliness you would expect.
Being involved in your care matters
We will ask you how best we can involve you in making decisions about your care and explain things as we go along. If you don’t understand anything please ask to speak to the nurse in charge. We will be respectful of any religious, cultural or special needs you may have, please let us know how we can help you with them.
We have two patient information leaflets available:
Patient privacy, dignity & respect matters at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust pdf
Ward visiting at South Tyneside District Hospital pdf
Privacy & Dignity matters to staff
The trust has a policy on Privacy & Dignity, approved by the Chief Operating Officer for Clinical Services.
Privacy & Dignity Policy pdf
We have a Chaperoning Policy, to ensure staff are aware of their role in maintaining the privacy & dignity of patients, when examinations, procedures or treatments are required.
Privacy & Dignity Champions
We have Privacy & Dignity Champions across inpatient and hospital services. Their role is to ensure the good practice introduced in the trust is implemented in the area and to feedback to the Unit / Ward Manager any concerns.
Matrons Ward Rounds
Our Matrons regularly undertake ward rounds, to observe what’s going on and to find out from patients what they think about the care they are receiving. This includes asking about privacy & dignity issues.
The Experience of Patients
We undertake local survey across all services in the Trust on an annual basis. This enables patients to think about the care they have received so that we can celebrate what we do well and act on feedback to improve the care we offer.
We also take part in a national survey every year, this is a much larger survey which includes questions on privacy & dignity issues. The results let us know if we’ve improved from the previous year and how we are doing against other trusts in England. If you receive a questionnaire at home we would really appreciate it if you can take the time to complete it and send it back in the prepaid envelope, as we will listen to your views.
We are planning to implement the Choose Safer Care project from Septemnber 2012, which will involve asking patients about their experience whilst they're still in hospital to help us respond promptly to improve the patient experience.