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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The membership community will vary across NHS foundation trusts, and it will be up to each applicant to set out boundaries on the basis of minimum criteria to be set out in forthcoming legislation.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Like NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts will be bound by a statutory duty of partnership. Unfairly competing for staff in the local area could potentially be regarded as a breach of the duty and therefore subject to intervention by the independent regulator.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: It is for the board of governors of each NHS foundation trust to determine what advice it requires in order to carry out its responsibilities. Any provison for allocation of resources to the board of governors will be determined by the NHS foundation trust's constitution.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In our 1997 manifesto, we promised to end mixed-sex accommodation in National Health Service hospitals. In February 1998, we set a target for the achievement of three objectives which were designed to deliver separate sleeping areas, separate toilet and washing facilities and safe facilities for the mentally ill. Our target was that 95 per cent of trusts would meet these new standards by December 2002.
We have exceeded the target to provide good standards of privacy and dignity, ensuring single-sex sleeping accommodation and robust operational policies which protect patients' privacy and dignity in 98 per cent of NHS trusts.
We have met the target set to ensure the safety of people who are mentally ill95 per cent of NHS trusts meet additional criteria set for this patient group, offering for example day rooms which are "off limits" to both patients and visitors of the opposite sex.
The target to provide separate toilet and washing facilities for men and women will be met by the end of March. Progress to date means that 93 per cent of NHS trusts provide properly segregated bathroom and toilet facilities for men and women. A further two per cent of NHS trusts have works under way to deliver the required standard, affecting just 32 wards, which will be completed by the end of March.
Over 98 per cent of NHS wards meet our guidelines. As there are approximately 10,000 wards currently in use across the NHS, this is a significant achievement. New hospitals and hospital facilities currently being built will bring the remaining wards to the necessary standard.
This has been a particularly challenging target, which the NHS has met with enthusiasm and fervour. Meeting the target has taken time, energy and commitment from a wide range of professionals. The extremely high level of compliance achieved is a testament to their hard work and commitment to the interests of NHS patients.
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