The trust gathers feedback from our patients on their experience of the services we deliver, to find out what is important to them.  We use this information in a timely way to improve services and bring about changes that will make a difference to the overall care experience.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) officers regularly visit inpatient areas to meet patients, gain their views on the services provided, talk through any concerns and then liaise with staff to resolve any issues.  PALS officers also carry out focussed surveys of patient views and, in line with this responsibility, will survey patients about their experience of privacy and dignity and single sex accommodation.

PALS officers:

  • are respected by staff, patients and carers;
  • are independent of operational services;
  • understand the issues associated with mental health and learning disability services;
  • undertake semi-structured interviews with impartiality;
  • capture the patient experience in real time and feed back to service areas in a timely manner.

Five key questions relating to single sex accommodation/privacy and dignity will be identified from the following sources:

  • the most recent inpatient patient survey results;
  • a recently conducted PALS review of contacts (thematic analysis of over 1000 patient contacts over the past year);
  • complaints received on this issue.

The PALS officers will conduct a short postcard survey during their regular planned visits to a sample of inpatient areas during September 2009.  This project will:  

  • ensure that the feedback received is anonymous and identifiable by ward only;
  • ensure that the results of the survey will be analysed and fed back to the clinical teams and modern matrons within two working days;
  • provide information back to the wards in a simple graph format that can be displayed within the main ward areas;
  • require each ward team to develop a local action plan based on the feedback.  

The project lead for delivering same sex accommodation / privacy and dignity will:

  • support ward teams to develop local action plans to address any issues raised within the survey;
  • collate and monitor the responses and produce a report for each clinical directorate;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the approach by end of November 2009;
  • provide an overall report which will identify key themes and areas of good practice and areas for improvement.

By the end of March 2010, following an evaluation of the pilot, a strategy for patient experience will be produced.  This will incorporate the results of the survey to capture our patients’ perceptions of the trust’s approach to preserving and maintaining privacy and dignity.

More information

Find answers to frequently asked questions about same sex accommodation at
NHS Choices – your health, your choices.

For more information about same sex accommodation plans at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust visit or contact:
Corinne Aspel, Lead Senior Nurse - Delivering Same Sex Accommodation.
Tel: 0191 333 3566