Eliminating Mixed-Sex Accommodation (EMSA)

Declaration of Compliance

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to confirm that we are compliant with the Government's requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in the patient's overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary or when patients actively choose to share.

If our care should fall short of the required standard, we will report it. We will also set up an audit mechanism to make sure that we do not misclassify any of our reports. We will publish the results of that audit in the Trust's Annual Report.

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is committed to providing every patient with same sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.

What does this mean for our patients?

It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share your sleeping area. You may have to cross a ward corridor to reach your bathroom, but you will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.

You may share some communal space, such as day rooms or dining rooms, and it is very likely that you will see both men and women patients as you move around the Trust.

It is probable that visitors of the opposite gender will come into the room where your bed is, this may include patients visiting each other. It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will come into your bed area.

If you need help to use the toilet or to take a bath (eg you need a hoist or special bath) then you maybe taken to a “unisex” bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will be with you, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.

The NHS will not turn patients away just because a “right sex” bed is not immediately available.

What are our plans for the future?

The Trust has worked alongside Commissioners to update the Eliminating Mixed Sex Accommodation delivery plan to further improve services and to ensure that mixed sex occurrences are the exception and not the norm.

How will we measure success?

 We have developed a systematic approach to collecting views of service users on their experience of Trust services. This is facilitated by the following:

  • The Trust's groups for monitoring the NHS Constitution
  • Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALs)
  • Patient Opinion website
  • Compliments and complaints
  • Care Quality Commission annual service user survey

What do I do if I think I am in mixed sex accommodation?

We want to know about your experiences. Please contact our Patient Experience Team if you have any comments or concerns on:

01228 602020 or PET@cumbria.nhs.uk  


Please click here for the EMSA Improvement Plan.