Royal Cornwall Hospital fined for mixed-sex wards

The Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske had to pay £11,500 in fines for putting patients in mixed-sex wards during April, the BBC has learnt.

A spokesperson from the hospital's trust said there were 46 breaches in the month - compared to 129 in March.

It is "fully committed" to caring for patients and is working hard to address the problem, the spokesperson added.

Hospitals must pay a £250 penalty each day a patient is kept in mixed-sex wards.

A spokesperson from the trust said it would "never turn a patient away simply because it couldn't guarantee them a same-sex ward".

The spokesperson added: "They will always be transferred to accommodation with patients of the same sex at the earliest opportunity."

Nationally there were 2,660 breaches in April - half the number compared to the previous month, the Department of Health said.

It means at least £665,000 of fines have been levied, although the sum could be higher as the data does not detail how long a breach has been for.

The government's drive on mixed-sex accommodation follows attempts by the previous administration to tackle the issue.

The regulation does not apply to intensive care and accident and emergency units.

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