'Exceptional operational demand' led to mixed sex accommodation breach at Sheffield hospital

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals reported one breach of mixed sex accommodation - the first incident in 30 months
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals reported one breach of mixed sex accommodation - the first incident in 30 months

'Exceptional operational demand' on hospital services in Sheffield led to a patient sharing a clinical area with the opposite sex.

'Exceptional operational demand' on hospital services in Sheffield led to a patient sharing a clinical area with the opposite sex.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust recorded the data as a breach and with it being reported to the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Department of Health.

Hospital bosses have a target of zero but this was breached for the first time in over 30 months in March.

The breach was flagged up to in a report presented to bosses at a meeting earlier this month. It was not said which hospital the breach occurred in.

Sheffield NHS chiefs said the incident had been 'fully reviewed' and 'every effort had been made to try and avoid the breach'. Bosses, added the Trust had invested millions in ward refurbishments to enable this not happen.

A breach of this type usually refers to occurrences of 'unjustified mixing' relating to English NHS-funded providers of healthcare hospital sleeping accommodation

Latest national figures show for March, NHS trusts reported 703 breaches of mixed sex accommodation in April 2017 compared to 487 in the same month the year before.

Professor Hilary Chapman, Chief Nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "We treat of over two million patients every year and we strive to ensure that no patient is placed in mixed sex accommodation inappropriately.

"We have invested several millions of pounds in ward refurbishments and new facilities to enable us to do this and as a result the last time we breached the mixed sex accommodation rules for a patient was more than two-and-a-half years ago.

"In March we did have to place a patient in a clinical area which did not fully meet the mixed sex requirements but we ensured that the patient’s privacy and dignity was protected during the short time they were in the area.

"The circumstances of the breach have been fully reviewed and it was felt that every effort had been made to try and avoid the breach but exceptional operational demand had made it difficult to avoid. We discussed this fully with the patient involved.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust run the Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park cancer hospital, Jessop maternity wing and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital.