The NHS in England still has mixed wards in their hospitals. It's reported 64,000 of those who sadly require hospitalisation, are in mixed wards.
Labour said they would do away with them in 1997 and again in 2001. Today it's reported that labour say it's 'only' 95% of our ill who aren't afforded the dignity of being caged with those of the other sex.
Shame on them. When I was a child men and women were segregated because of their gender differences. Men and women have different needs in personal care, yet over the past few decades they have been disregarded. I won't go into the reasons why the sexes should be divided when receiving professional heathcare because they're all too obvious.
Approximately a century ago it was acknowledged that infection was spread by lack of hygiene. The message got through with Florence Nightingale's generation but in recent times the attitude is very much 'why should I bother because doctors have a duty to cure me'. Such innocence. I'm not saying men are less hygienic than women, (I daren't!), but where toilet needs are concerned many men leave a lot to be desired when there is no urinal. Most think (perhaps urinals are fairly wide) that their aim is perfect, yet I can assure them their aim leaves a lot to be desired - not least the washing of the toilet floor on a daily basis. I've yet to meet a man who can pee straight into a toilet bowl.
In mixed sex wards in English hospitals there are only toilet bowls and not urinals. Need I say more?
It's a disgrace that our neighbours have been subjected to the indignity of sharing a medical ward with the other sex. Many will have no complaint of sharing much of their lives with them, but, when we're hospitalised and at our most vulnerable, both sexes ought to be afforded privacy and dignity.
To think that the English health service continues to be stuck in Victorian times scares me. We're not much better here in Scotland but we have done away with them some years ago.
On the news tonight I heard that it was difficult for certain 'older' buildings to change to one sex only wards. Don't they realise that's what these hospitals had before the 'management' took over? The old matrons would have been mortified at the very thought of men and women sharing toilet/bathing facilities.
It's all very well for the coalition to say they will get rid of mixed wards (albeit A& E and other areas will not be affected), but what they should be saying is that each and every one of us ought to have our own toilet/bathing facilities when it's necessary for us to be in our bug-ridden hospitals.
So many homes are built these days with toilet facilities for each bedroom yet our hospitals, where our nearest and dearest are depending on the total care of others, do not. Isn't it time we aimed higher and provided personal facilities for every patient? Just like many European countries have been doing for years.