Agenda item

Mixed Sex Accommodation

Director of Quality and Nursing – Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to report


The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director of Nursing, Healthcare Professionals and Quality Governance which updated and advised of the next steps with regards to the Trust’s intention to meet statutory mixed sex accommodation (MSA) requirements.


The regulatory requirements and expectations of the Trust were clearly outlined. The Trust’s 2016 CQC inspection report highlighted a failure to comply with the Department of Health guidance on single sex accommodation on older people and acute wards for working age adults. The report noted that the ‘trust was not effectively managing the risks of mixed sex accommodation.’ The recommendation was that ‘The Trust must ensure that all wards are compliant with the Department of Health guidance on same sex accommodation in order to ensure the safety, privacy and dignity of patients.’


The Trust’s recent CQC inspection report acknowledged there had been improvements in how the Trust had managed mixed sex accommodation. The CQC acknowledged that a consultation exercise was on going to assist the Trust in making future decisions about managing mixed sex wards.


Notwithstanding this recent positive feedback the CQC continued to remain interested in a number of sexual safety incidents that have occurred on PCFT in-patient wards. Therefore following the publication of ‘The state of mental health services 2014 to 2017’ and the CQCs report ‘Sexual Safety on mental health wards’ there has been a national commitment to eradicate dormitories on in-patient psychiatric wards.


The engagement exercise, which was intended to explore attitudes among patients, staff, carers and other relevant stakeholders to moving from mixed to single sex accommodation on inpatient mental health wards had now concluded.  The Trust had formally received the outcome of the engagement exercise, a board development session was held on the 11th February 2019 where the Lead Analyst provided detailed feedback on the content of the report to board members. It was also noted that a presentation, by the Lead Analyst, to Members of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been given at their informal meeting on 26th February 2019.  


The engagement analyst’s report provided details of how the engagement had been undertaken and analysed and provided comprehensive details on the feedback and themes gathered through the process of the exercise. The key area for acknowledgment was the vast amount and wide variety of views gathered regarding the delivery of mixed sex accommodation which also meant that the report did not conclude with a consensus view. The report didn’t solely focus on MSA issues, as other related issues were highlighted and were captured through the engagement exercise that directly impacted on the safety, privacy and dignity of patients who were admitted to PCFT wards. These included:

a.     mixing patients with organic and functional illness

b.     issues affecting LGBT patients

c.     staffing levels (nursing, support worker and therapists):

d.     Staff attitudes/culture:

e.     Patient Choice:

f.       Location of hospital sites and wards

g.     Broader estates and Accommodation issues

h.     Bathing and toilets facilities. 

i.       Staff skills/ specialisms 

j.       Bed management and bed allocation

k.     Continuous Professional Development for staff

l.       Therapeutic engagement/ activities

It was noted that after consideration of the evaluation report at the PCFT’s Board development session on 11th February 2019 and by this meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Executive Director of Nursing would, in collaboration with the Managing Director of mental health services and other senior colleagues within the Trust, lead the next phase of work with regards to the MSA agenda in order to support the Trust to meet the statutory requirements; including holding a detailed review of the engagement analysis and discussions with operational service leads, the gathering of further feedback following publication and presentation of the report and the development of a co-produced proposal for the Trust’s Board to consider which outlines the proposed approach to how the Trust should manage Mixed Sex Accommodation.


The Committee noted the developments that had been made in this regard and commended the work that had been carried out hitherto. The Committee asked if visits could be arranged for Members to view the Wards in question, at locations across the Trust’s footprint.



1.     The report be noted

2.     The Trust be requested to arrange visits for Members of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee to view hospital wards across the Trust’s footprint.

Supporting documents: