The practice of placing men and women in the same hospital room (mixed gender rooms) has been prohibited in the UK National Health Service for over a decade. However, recent research demonstrates that the practice is common and increasing in a major New Zealand public hospital. Reports and complaints show that the practice also occurs in Australia. We argue that mixed gender rooms violate the fundamental human rights of personal security and dignity. The high rates of cognitive impairment, sensory impairment and frailty in hospital wards exacerbates the risk for these violations and subsequent harm. We argue for the adoption of specific national policies prohibiting mixed gender rooms and public reporting of breaches. Importantly, these guidelines can be adopted without compromising the rights of gender minorities. In the long term, hospitals should be built with single occupancy rooms.