NHS trust facing legal action over trans staff member’s use of female changing room

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An NHS foundation trust is facing legal action after several nurses formally complained about a trans member of staff using the female changing room. 

The trust’s changing room policies permit any member of staff identifying as the opposite gender to access single-sex changing rooms, toilets or showers.

Six nurses are reported to be taking legal action at an employment tribunal, basing their claim based on alleged sexual harassment and sexual discrimination.

According to Personnel Today, the nurses’ concerns were first raised last August, but no formal action was taken. They said there was an “impromptu meeting” about the matter, at which a human resources official told the ward manager the nurses should “be more inclusive”.

But things escalated when, as recently as March, 26 nurses were said to have signed a letter concerning the issue and sent it to the director of workforce of the trust in the north east of England.

The Christian Legal Centre, which is linked to Christian Concern, is supporting the nurses’ legal claim, and has accused the NHS of “putting a dangerous and discredited transgender ideology ahead of staff and patient safety, not to mention biological reality”.

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A spokesperson for the trust told the Daily Mail that it was “committed to providing an inclusive and respectful work environment for all employees”, describing the incident as a “hugely sensitive issue” and adding: “We are aware of recent issues raised and are taking these very seriously.

“We would like to assure our employees and the wider community that as soon as these issues were brought to our attention, we initiated meetings to fully understand the needs and concerns of the staff members under our resolution policy.”

The trust is “committed to working together with all parties to find a solution that respects the rights and dignity of all individuals while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and fairness”, the spokesperson went on to say.

The legal action follows government proposals calling for trans women to be banned from single-sex female NHS wards, a policy which has the backing of Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Under the revised NHS Charter, transgender in-patients could be provided with single rooms “where appropriate”, with patients having the right to request a person of the same biological sex to deliver any intimate care.

The proposal was first put forward by then health secretary Steve Barclay in October 2023. His plan also aimed to reinstate “sex-specific” language throughout the health service, when referring to treatments for, and advice on, menopause and cervical and ovarian cancer.

Shortly after Barclay’s comments, a discrimination lawyer claimed any plans to bar trans women from female hospital wards was not only “unlawful” but “impractical”.


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