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Eliminating mixed-sex accommodation (MSA)

All providers of NHS funded care are expected to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of the patient, in accordance with the definitions set out in the Professional Letter CNO/2010/3.

Against the background of a consistent definition, NHS organisations are to routinely report breaches of same-sex accommodation guidance. Local reporting systems are being established, with subsequent data being made public from January 2011 (ie. the breach data from December 2010).

This renewed focus means that organisations will be held to account for managing beds and facilities to eliminate MSA.  In addition, commissioners will be expected to apply sanctions to NHS organisations that breach the guidance. The associated data will be published.

Building on the good work that has already taken place across the NHS to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, the pages in this section provide information to support:

- delivery of the 2011/12 Operating Framework’s requirements in relation to this area
- the new robust collection of ‘breach’ data
- the implementation of locally-led improvement plans to ensure patients are cared for in same-sex accommodation.

The Department has worked with groups and patients across the NHS to enable it to embed services that will ensure that NHS patients – in all but exceptional circumstances – will from now on encounter only same-sex accommodation during episodes of care.

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