Trans patients could be forced onto wrong hospital wards by Tory government

Groups of NHS hospital beds.

The government is considering NHS guidance that would see transgender patients placed in wards that don’t match with their gender identity.

Health minister Nick Markham said that officials are considering whether “clearer guidance is needed on the provision of same-sex staffing for patients receiving intimate care” in an effort to protect what he describes as patient “privacy and dignity.”

The announcement followed a report published in January by the far-right think-tank Policy Exchange, which argued that the NHS could “not guarantee same-sex intimate care for patients” and claimed it was “putting staff preferences above the needs of patients.”

It argues an NHS policy somehow compromises “sex-based rights” because transgender people can be assigned to a single-sex ward.

Activists across the board criticised the report, saying there is “no such thing as ‘gender-identity ideology'” while accusing the think-tank of justifying the “demonisation of trans people.”

In response to a question posted by Tory life peer David Maclean, reported by The Telegraph, Markham wrote: “It is imperative that NHS trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients.”

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He added: “Patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities.

“It will be up to the care provider or clinician to respond based on the patient’s needs and staff availability. Due to staff availability, there may be instances when these requests cannot be immediately or easily met.”

Not only did several social media users point out the deeply anti-trans sentiment rooted behind the policy consideration, others questioned why unnecessary guidelines needed to be imposed when the NHS is already stretched so thin.

“You can tell the people that use care settings as some sort of gotcha have had absolutely no experience with it,” one user wrote.

“The whole industry is catastrophically understaffed and underfunded.”

Currently, Markham has not detailed explicit plans to implement the guidance, and it is not yet known when the policy would be changed.

In response to the reply, Maclean told the Telegraph: “Any guidance needs to be clear that they are referring to biological sex and it needs to be followed up by legislation which cannot be ignored by NHS trusts.”

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