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Developing women only and gender sensitive practices in inpatient wards — current issues and challenges

Jeanette Copperman (City University, London)
Karen Knowles (The Analysis Team, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, London)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 1 August 2006



In this article we explore how inpatient mental health services in England and Wales are interpreting and responding to policy derived from Mainstreaming Gender and Women's Mental Health (DH, 2003) in relation to women's safety in inpatient settings. This article will outline the background to concerns about safety in mental health settings for women and drawing on relevant literature and on interviews with service managers, practitioners and users identify some current issues in improving safety for women in inpatient settings and in creating single sex provision. Our review suggests that whilst there are improvements in provision for women in inpatient settings, some women are still not being offered a real choice of a women‐only setting on admission to hospital, and that changing the culture that permits a lack of physical and relational safety for women presents real challenges. We will discuss some of the implications for future practice.



Copperman, J. and Knowles, K. (2006), "Developing women only and gender sensitive practices in inpatient wards — current issues and challenges", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 15-30.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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