A £1M EXTENSION at the Countess of Chester Hospital A&E department will ensure patients have greater dignity.
Work is ongoing for an 11-bed extension to the emergency assessment unit as part of the NHS Delivering Same Sex Accommodation (DSSA) programme.
Gaynor Hales, director of nursing quality and the environment, said: “The Countess of Chester NHS Hospital 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.
“We are proud to confirm that mixed sex accommodation has been virtually eliminated in our organisation.
“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 bathrooms will be close to their bed area.
“Sharing with members of the opposite sex should only happen by exception based on clinical need, for example, where patients need specialist equipment such as in critical care, or when patients choose to share for instance in our renal unit.”
The emergency assessment unit changes, which involves a combination of new build and reconfiguration of existing rooms, should be completed by the autumn.
Ms Hales added: “The current environment does not easily support delivery of same sex accommodation due to its current layout and poor facilities.
“We are currently building a new unit which is designed to support the delivery of same sex accommodation and provide a facility which meets all of the DSSA requirements whilst relocating all emergency assessment together.
“Until this unit is complete by September 2010, we are working hard to utilise the existing assessment areas as a same sex facility whenever we can.”