00:55 GMT +321 October 2019
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    'Patients With Male Anatomy Shouldn't Be in Women's Wards': NHS Trans Debate

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    Despite an official directive produced nearly a decade ago, eliminating mixed-sex accommodation in English hospitals, thousands of breaches still occur in Britain every year, including cases of transgender patients before they have begun transition.

    An investigation has discovered that the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain is unable to identify the number of transgender people accepted to wards of opposite sex because official records would register them under their "preferred sex."

    One NHS trust even advises medical staff to check if a female victim of sexual assault is against sharing facilities with a transgender person who may be biologically or legally male.

    The revised Operating Framework for 2010- 2011 made it clear that NHS organisations are expected to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except where it is in the overall best interest of the patient, or reflects their personal choice.

    A Conservative MP, David Davies, has backed the need for single sex medical facilities

    "It's quite right that a Conservative government made a commitment to end mixed sex wards. People with male bodies should be on male wards," Mr. Davies said.

    A UKIP London Assembly member, David Kurten, also argued against mixed sex accommodation among medical patients.

    "Hospital wards are no place to push fringe transgender ideology which risks the safety and well-being of sick patients. If a person has male anatomy and chromosomes they are a man, and they should not be placed in women's wards," Mr. Kurten argued.

    A female patient in a hospital
    A female patient in a hospital

    Some consider the current legislation with regard to the rights of transgender patients a "mess."

    "If you aren't even considering other groups in your equality impact assessments, your policy cannot be lawful,' said Amanda Jones, a barrister at Great James Street Chambers in London.

    Despite the official rules, breaches still take place in English hospitals. Providers of NHS-funded healthcare reported 2,058 mixed accommodation breaches during November 2018, compared to 1,117 in November 2017.

    A heated debate unravelled online, with arguments for and against access for transgender patients self-identifying as women to female wards.

    As well as monitoring and reporting all unjustified mixing of sleeping accommodation, the NHS is also required to monitor all justified mixing in sleeping accommodation, all mixed-sex sharing of bathroom / toilet facilities (including passing through accommodation or toilet/bathroom facilities used by the opposite gender), and all mixed provision of day space in mental health units at a local level. 

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    mixed sex, hospital, transgender, United Kingdom
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