Hospital turns down donation of thousands from men dressed as female nurses
A hospital trust in Shropshire in the UK has turned down a donation of £2,500 because it was raised by men dressed as female nurses.
Fundraisers took part in the annual Ludlow Bed Push, which has become a yearly tradition for the past 20 years.
But Jan Ditheridge, the chief executive of the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust has turned down the money.
She says that she is uncomfortable with male medical staff being dressed as female nurses.
The trust manages Ludlow Hospital, but the chairman of the League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital has called the refusal an “over-reaction”.
Peter Corfield, the chairman, criticised Ditheridge’s response, and refusal of the £2,500 donation.
Ditheridge has also said she can no longer support the bed push going forward.
She said: “It isn’t okay to portray healthcare professionals in this way. We have previously asked that this doesn’t happen and therefore don’t think it’s right to accept any money associated with this activity.
“I’m sure the event was organised with the best intentions and we are sorry if it’s made people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
“Many people kindly and selflessly raise money for our organisation, and especially for our hospitals. We are eternally grateful for that,” she added.
The lifetime president of the League of Friends, Howard Watkins, came up with the idea behind the bed push.
But Corfield says there have been no complaints from the public about the bed push.
Corfield said: “We have not had one single complaint about this event from members of the public.
“The bed push has over the years raised a substantial amount of money and the lads who do it are great supporters of the hospital.
“I need to talk to the lads who do this because it is effectively casting aspersions on their character.
“What Ms Ditheridge doesn’t seem to be aware of is that the bed push was originally set up with the full co-operation of the hospital staff and has been happening in the town for about 18 to 20 years.
“Hospital staff have been involved with doing their make-up and, in the days when we actually pushed a bed around town, a member of staff was sometimes the person in the bed.
“I think it’s an over-reaction to say that they will not accept the money.
“The money raised had already been earmarked and approved for the purchase of an ECG machine and we are now withdrawing that funding as per the diktat.
“Rather than cause further embarrassment, we will not be offering that money again,” he said.
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