Trans NHS staff can treat patients who request same-sex care for intimate procedures

Trans NHS staff can treat patients who request same-sex care for intimate procedures

Trans NHS staff may treat patients who request same-sex care for intimate procedures, a report suggests.

According to a letter seen by the think tank Policy Exchange, the North Bristol NHS Trust cannot guarantee that patients receive treatment for a doctor of the same sex if requested.

The letter, written by the trust’s former CEO, Evelyn Barker, in February 2021 also suggests that the trust does not require doctors to reveal their gender.

In response to a number of complaints from a member of the public about the trust’s policies and practices, Ms. Barker explained how it ensures “patient informed consent in accordance with the law”.

The letter said that details about the doctors involved in a patient’s treatment may be relevant to a patient giving informed consent.

“However, there is no requirement for physicians reveal your gender identity,” He said.

It added: “The Trust accepts that there may be some exceptions where a transgender person is expected to disclose their gender identity, such as when they are required to personally care for vulnerable people.”

There are no details about the exceptions.

However, the letter did not provide details on what exceptions they may include.

“This declaration will be rare and, where the staff member has their Gender Recognition Certificate and has fully transitioned to their preferred gender, this will not apply,” it added.

It also does not define what “fully transitioned” means.

With informed consent, a patient can refuse treatment at any time if they are not satisfied with the doctor or the treatment offered.

The think tank said a recent search of the trust’s privacy and dignity policies gave no indication that it has changed its position since the letter was published.

It comes after the Equality and Human Rights Commission published guidance earlier this year. surrounding single-sex spaces and the legitimate reasons for excluding trans people from them.

Examples of single-sex services where trans people might be excluded include wards in hospitals where “users need care, supervision or special attention”.

Policy implications are ‘considerable’

In a report exploring the letter and “Gender Identity Ideology” in the NHS, Policy Exchange said that “the implications of this policy for patient consent are considerable.”

“Under the Health and Social Care Act of 2008, a doctor is legally required to obtain the patient’s consent before carrying out any treatment, test or examination,” the report says.

He added: “If a patient needed to undergo a particular surgery, they could consent to the actual surgery being carried out, but they would most likely remove this consent if they understood that the surgeon proposing to perform the surgery actually is not trained.

“The principle of same-sex intimate care is based on the notion that a patient can consent to treatment only when he knows the sex of the treating physician.

“A person’s right to same-sex intimate care must be respected in the interests of patient safety, dignity and privacy.”

The report states that intimate care can be “distressing and naturally undignified,” particularly for women who may have additional protected characteristics, such as religion or disability.

Disclosure Need

“Patient consent with respect to same-sex intimate care is based on the patient knowing the biological sex of the person treating them,” he added. “This is impossible if Trust staff are not required to disclose this when a concern may be raised.”

Policy Exchange said the trust is “unlikely to be unique” in its position as it is acting in accordance with NHS guidance.

The letter cited guidance from England’s NHS on same-sex wards, which includes “allowing trans people to be accommodated according to their presentation, the way they dress and the name and pronouns they currently use.”

“This may not always agree with the physical sexual aspect of the breast or genitals,” He said.

The trust also said it was acting in accordance with the Human Rights Act and its duties in relation to the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.

In a series of recommendations, Policy Exchange said the trust should uphold a patient’s right to same-sex intimate care and same-sex wards, and England’s NHS should review its guidance on same-sex wards.

NHS is ‘seriously compromised’

In the foreword to the report, Nimco Ali, a former government adviser and women’s rights campaigner, said the letter provided further evidence that “reveals that the NHS is seriously compromised by an ideology that is undermining the rights of women and girls”.

He added: “Of course, transgender people also face a very real kind of discriminationand the law must protect them and allow them to live their lives freely.

“But when it comes to conflicting rights in a public institution like the NHS, decisions need to be made with democratic consensus and full understanding that certain policies cannot be blindly endorsed simply because a minority is screaming the loudest for them.”

The trust said it had nothing more to add to the information in the letter.

NHS England said a review, led by Ruth May, the head nurse, was underway into the same-sex ward orientation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like