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Women’s groups have claimed they have been excluded from a ‘flawed’ NHS review into mixed hospital wards as a leading ‘trans advocate’ has said the rules that allow patients to self-identify their gender will continue.
Dr Michael Brady, who is the national adviser for LGBT health at NHS England and who is said to be involved in the review, has reportedly written to campaign groups and told them he has ‘no plans to reduce the existing rights of transgender people’ during the review, which began in December.
In an email, he said the ‘commitment from the team leading on the review is supporting the maintenance/strengthening of trans rights in the update’.
However NHS England deny Dr Brady’s involvement and say he only ‘attended engagement meetings’ with women’s and LGB groups and Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May is leading the process.
The review is part of NHS England’s process, which makes sure guidance is correct and up-to-date, and looks to see if there is any way to improve it.
Dr Bradby, who is an HIV and Sexual Health consultant at Kings College Hospital in London, is alleged to have ‘excluded women and LGB groups’ from the review, with emergency meetings having to be set up two-weeks later.
Rhona Hotchkiss, a retired nurse and volunteer at LGB Alliance told MailOnline: ‘Often when matters effect trans people, other groups are not considered. We had to contact the NHS regarding the process and subsequently had a meeting set up two-weeks later with Dr Brady.
‘It is shocking that we were excluded in the first place. When reviews like this are conducted, you need to include the people speaking up for women, men, the elderly and religious minorities. It is utterly flawed and now LGB Alliance alongside several other groups are calling for it to be abandoned.’
Dr Brady told the Trans NHS Staff Network in emails seen by The Telegraph that controversial LGBT charity Stonewall and Mermaids had contributed ‘very helpfully’ to the ongoing review.
Meanwhile, Baroness Nicholson, 80, has called for an end to the reivew which she says is a ‘safeguarding disaster’ adding that patient safety must ‘trump trans rights in hospital wards’.
Dr Michael Brady, who is the national adviser for LGBT health at NHS England, has allegedly written to campaign groups and told them he has ‘no plans to reduce the existing rights of transgender people’ during the process, which began in December. Pictured: Prince Harry talks to sexual health and HIV doctor Dr Brady
Baroness Nicholson, 80, has called for an end to the ‘safeguarding disaster’ and said patient safety must ‘trump trans rights in hospital wards’
Writing in The Times, she said: ‘A key element of the debate on women’s rights is the stealthy erosion of single-sex spaces, particularly single-sex wards in hospitals. These hard-won rights are vital for patients at their most vulnerable.
‘Yet we have sleepwalked into a situation where gender self-identification, elevated by NHS policy in defiance of the law, trumps sensible decisions about patient dignity and safety.
‘Men who declare themselves women, even without the legal fiction of a gender recognition certificate, are being allowed into women’s wards.
‘A fiction is being imposed on other patients, their concerns disregarded, even being smeared as bigotry. Nurses are left in a difficult position. This is insulting to patients and a safeguarding disaster.’
Dr Brady told the Trans NHS Staff Network in emails seen by The Telegraph that controversial LGBT charity Stonewall and Mermaids had contributed ‘very helpfully’ to the ongoing review (Stock image)
The Tory peer debated the Health and Care Bill with ministers and asked for an amendment to be added that asks for trans people in mixed hospital wards to be reviewed.
She added: ‘Tonight in the House of Lords I will debate on the Health and Care Bill, Lord Blencathra and I have introduced an amendment with cross-party support.
‘This requires that NHS guidance for trans people in single-sex wards be reviewed. It must take proper regard of the opt-outs included in the 2010 Equality Act, and not wilfully ignore them.’
LGB Alliance volunteer Ms Hotchkiss said that groups including Fair Play for Women, Woman’s Place UK and Sex Matters have all written to Sajid Javid and Baroness Nicholson to stop the review.
She added: ‘When we met Dr Brady, my colleague Kate Harris asked “Do you believe trans women are women?” and he couldn’t even answer.
‘We have since written to the Health Secretary because this review needs to be abandoned imminently.’
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘The review, which is currently ongoing, is being led by England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May.
‘The engagement phase of the review closed this week with a wide range of groups involved and every organisation or individual who requested a meeting as part of this process was offered one.’
Source: Daily Mail