NHS board says objecting to trans "women" in female-only wards is the same as racism

NHS board says objecting to trans "women" in female-only wards is the same as racism

Scotland: An NHS policy has been accused of being “offensive” for saying hospital patients who are concerned about trans women being treated in female-only wards is like racism.

The “Supporting Trans Service Users” policy put forward by NHS Ayrshire and Arran suggests that female patients complaining about sharing a ward with trans women may have to be “removed”.

Staff are told to respond to the patient by saying: “The ward is indeed female only and that there are no men present”.

The policy goes further by comparing the scenario to racism, it says: “General appreciation of trans issues is low within our communities and often this is used as a rationale for behaviour that is essentially transphobic.

“If a white woman complained to a nurse about sharing a ward with a black patient or a heterosexual male complained about being in a ward with a gay man, we would expect our staff to act in a manor that deals with the expressed behaviour immediately.”

Think-tank MBM responded to the policy, saying: “The Equality Act specifically allows for the recognition of sex in the provision of services.

“In the context of hospital accommodation, sex is relevant to patient privacy, dignity, modesty, and safety.

"The equivalence between a female patient expressing unease at the presence of another male patient on a nominally single-sex ward and racism is not only offensive, but fails to understand the law.”

NHS Ayrshire and Arran responded by saying the policy was “under review”.