Monday, 16 August 2010

Government announces an end to something that has already ended

In a minor change of tactic, the coalition has made an announcement that isn't, for once, about how much they are going to slash and burn. Instead, they are going to announce the revolutionary step of closing mixed-sex wards.

All well and good, except:

It is estimated now that only around one-in-10 hospital wards are still mixed sex. Labour eventually concluded it would be impossible to abolish all of them - because of the disproportionate costs involved in converting some of the older Victorian hospitals.


Two years ago, Lord Darzi, an eminent surgeon who was made a health minister by Gordon Brown, concluded that the aim of providing single-sex wards across the NHS was an "aspiration that cannot be met"

Still, this way, the Coalition can do a 'Boris', and announce something that has already been done and brand it as their achievement.

UPDATE: A commentator points out that I might be being unfair here. But by announcing something that they clearly have no intention of properly resolving, the Coalition government can't expect a pat on the back for this... if an NHS with plenty of investment couldn't achieve 100% single sex wards, then how will an NHS in decline?


  1. Funnily I was treated in a mixed sex trauma ward in a modern NHS hospital last month. Perhaps I imagined it...

  2. Like this government taking benefits off drug addicts - that's a Labour policy carried over. Like Afghanistan.