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Saturday, 2 February 2008

Judge Timothy Clayson condemns mixed-sex wards

Judge condemns mixed-sex wards

Extracts from the Telegraph:

"A judge condemned the Government's failure to eradicate mixed-sex wards after jailing a man on Friday for a sex attack on an 82-year-old woman.

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  • Dean Galley assaulted a patient suffering from dementia while they were on an A&E overflow ward which, under Government guidance, is allowed to be mixed sex."

    "Galley, 41, an alcoholic, of Halliwell, Bolton, was found standing naked close to the woman's bed after a care assistant heard her screaming, "Get off me".

    On Friday he was jailed for a minimum of 18 months after being convicted of sexual assault at Bolton Crown Court. He had previous convictions for child-sex offences, arson and wounding.

    Judge Clayson said: "This case clearly calls into question the wisdom of placing patients on mixed wards. It seems to me no reasonable person could be content with such arrangements.""

    "A spokesman for Age Concern said: "Many older people find mixed-sex wards embarrassing and uncomfortable, but in the most extreme cases, these wards could put vulnerable older patients at risk of sexual assault." Help the Aged said the wards were an affront to human dignity.

    Lesley Doherty, director of nursing at the Royal Bolton, said that it had complied with Department of Health guidance but was now trying to keep men and women in separate areas of wards."

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