Health Secretary plans to ban trans women from female wards in new proposal

Health Secretary Steve Barclay

Health Secretary Steve Barclay hopes to ban trans women from female hospital wards under his plan to allegedly restore “common sense” to the NHS.

Barclay is reportedly set to share his proposals against “wokery” in the NHS at a Tory conference in Manchester on Tuesday (3 October), The Telegraph reports.

Under the guise of supposedly protecting women’s rights, the plans would give cisgender men and women the opportunity to be cared for on wards only shared by other cisgender patients of the same biological sex.

This proposed change would see transgender patients cared for in separate wards.

Steve Barclay
Steve Barclay is set to introduce anti-trans healthcare measures to the NHS. (Getty Images)

Since 2021, NHS guidance has allowed for transgender patients to be treated in single-sex wards based on the gender with which they identify.

Barclay’s plans will also introduce the return of “sex-specific” language throughout the health service when referring to treatments for and advice on menopause and cervical and ovarian cancer.

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Speaking to the Telegraph about his proposals, the Health Secretary said: “We need a common-sense approach to sex and equality issues in the NHS.

“That is why I am announcing proposals for clearer rights for patients. And I can confirm that sex-specific language has now been fully restored to online health advice pages about cervical and ovarian cancer and menopause.

“It is vital that women’s voices are heard in the NHS and the privacy, dignity, and safety of all patients are protected.”

A source close to Barclay also commented: “The Secretary of State is fed up with this agenda and the damage it’s causing, language like ‘chestfeeding’, talking about pregnant ‘people’ rather than women. It exasperates the vast majority of people, and he is determined to take action on it.

Steve Barclay leaves 10 Downing as new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak begins cabinet reshuffle.
Steve Barclay is supposedly pushing back against “wokery” in the NHS. (Leon Neal/Getty)

“He is concerned that women’s voices should be heard on healthcare and that too often wokery and ideological dogma is getting in the way of this”.

Women’s campaign group Sex Matters has hailed Barclay’s proposal as “fantastic news” and a return to so-called “reality-based thinking.”

This marks the second time in a matter of months that a health secretary has tried to oust trans patients from the hospital wards that match their gender identity.

Health Minister Nick Markham proposed similar guidance back in April, and was met with heavy backlash from LGBTQ+ rights groups, as well as social media users who noted that the NHS is stretched thin as it is.

Barclay’s plans come in the midst of a damning NHS strike over junior doctors and consultants pay, with services coming to a “near standstill.”

On Tuesday, while Barclay makes his proposal at the Tory conference, the British Medical Association will be protesting outside for a full 24 hours.

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