To survey the attitudes of in-patients on an all-female ward to staff gender. All patients were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire which was then repeated on a four-weekly basis for 4 months. Staff members were surveyed once within this period.
Only 15% of patients (n = 52) wanted all staff members to be female, whereas 87% reported feeling comfortable with male staff; 51% would prefer a predominantly female, mixed-gender staff. All staff (n = 11) were in favour of mixed-gender staffing.
Current best practice for staffing single-gender acute in-patient units is unclear. This survey is in line with findings from other studies in that a large majority of female in-patients prefer to be in a unit with mixed staff.
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