Lanarkshire NHS board blasted for its policy on transitioning workers

Nurses and barrister blast NHS health board’s ‘unlawful’ policy allowing transitioning workers to use female toilets and changing rooms in hospitals

  • NHS Lanarkshire slammed for its ‘Supporting Trans Staff in the Workplace’ policy
  • Policy relates to use of staff-only female shared toilets, showers and changing rooms 
  • Barrister Sarah Phillimore, 49, of London, claims guidelines ‘stop women from voicing concerns’
  • She also claims prioritising trans over women’s right is ‘unlawful’ and fears those raising objections may lose their jobs 

A barister and nurses have slammed an NHS health board for an ‘unlawful’ policy which allows transitioning people to use staff-only female shared facilities, claiming the guidelines ‘stop women from voicing concerns’.

Sarah Phillimore, 49, from London, criticised NHS Lanarkshire over their ‘Supporting Trans Staff in the Workplace policy’, which relates to female shared toilet, shower and changing room facilities.

The barrister, who specialises in family law, tweeted an excerpt from the 28-page document, published last Thursday, which states objections to the policy ‘will be dealt with by a manager in a sensitive and understanding way, while not denying the Trans staff member access to facilities appropriate to their lived gender’.

However, Ms Phillimore claims prioritising trans over women’s right is ‘unlawful’ and fears those raising objections may lose their jobs.

Sarah Phillimore, 49, a barristerfrom London, criticised NHS Lanarkshire over their ‘Supporting Trans Staff in the Workplace policy’, which relates to female shared toilet, shower and changing room facilities

Ms Phillimore, who specialises in family law, tweeted an excerpt from the 28-page document (above), published last Thursday, which states objections to the policy ‘will be dealt with by a manager in a sensitive and understanding way, while not denying the Trans staff member access to facilities appropriate to their lived gender’

Above, the tweet posted by Ms Phillimore. She claims that prioritising trans over women’s right is ‘unlawful’ and fears those raising objections may lose their jobs

She shared the guidelines on on Twitter on Monday, saying: ‘NHS advice. You will be compelled in a “sensitive and understanding” way to permit male bodies into single sex facilities.’

Ms Phillimore’s tweet has led to an outcry on Twitter with many people ‘shocked’ at the health board’s ‘discrimination’.

@MammaMi62324411 wrote: ‘Oh great. I get told in a sensitive and understanding way that I have no choice but to accept a male-bodied person into a supposedly female-only space. That makes me feel really safe and valued. Not.’

@anne75497482 added: ‘NHS Lanarkshire is your policy seriously to force female members of staff to undress in front of males? Have you taken legal advice on the employment law aspect of this? It’s clear indirect discrimination (on basis of sex) and repudiatory breach of contract.’

@WyeWorry7 sasdi: ‘In short women staff have no rights.’

And Trish Spencer commented: ‘I am a resident in this Health Board area and as a retired NHS Board Non Executive Director I’m completely shocked and disgusted by this.’

A female nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, has also spoken out about the policy, claiming that no-one was consulted over it. 

The NHS nurse, who has worked with NHS Lanarkshire for over 20 years, said: ‘I was first made aware of the supporting trans staff in the workplace policy produced by NHS Lanarkshire via social media.

Ms Phillimore’s tweet has led to an outcry on Twitter with many people ‘shocked’ at the health board’s ‘discrimination’

‘I have never been asked as a woman about my opinions on this policy or how it would affect me by NHS or union reps.

‘Where I work we have four wards which have separate male and female changing rooms. I use the female communal changing room, which is lacking in space and contains one shower and two toilet cubicles.

‘Sharing toilets does not bother me as we are in individual cubicles. Sharing a communal area to change into and out of my uniform is bad enoughwith females, but a trans woman who self identifies and is possibly still an intact male shocks me and scares me.

‘We all start at the same time and there can be many in the changing room. None of my female or male colleagues are aware of this policy nor have they been consulted. We do not know if it is a new policy or an updated policy.

‘What about my rights to single sex spaces? I feel as a nurse in the NHS they have not taken how females feel about this into account.’

Speaking today, Ms Phillimore added: ‘It’s unlawful. It places primacy on trans rights and ignores female sex which is a protected characteristic. It’s basically telling women to shut up and if that doesn’t work, they could be sacked.

‘We have fought hard for single sex spaces without penises. I’ve had to endure men waving their c***s at me when growing up. I don’t want to see a body with an intact penis next to me when I’m changing.’

Kay Sandilands, NHS Lanarkshire director of human resources, said: ‘NHS Lanarkshire recognises that trans people are entitled to fair and equal access to all NHS services, including as an employer.’ (Above, Monklands Hospital, which is managed by NHS Lanarkshire)

Today, NHS Lanarkshire did not deny the claims that they failed to consult staff about the policy.

Kay Sandilands, NHS Lanarkshire director of human resources, said: ‘NHS Lanarkshire recognises that trans people are entitled to fair and equal access to all NHS services, including as an employer.

‘The “Supporting Trans Staff in the Workplace” policy is written in line with our duty under the Equality Act 2010. This particular guidance sets out NHS Lanarkshire’s responsibilities as an employer of trans people.

‘As an employer, we aim to ensure that all of our staff are treated in a fair and consistent manner in an open and fair culture where everyone is valued and respected.

‘I would like to reassure all of our staff that we will continue to listen to the concerns of our staff and strive to create a fair and equal workplace for all employees.’

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