Does the NHS believe in biology?

Trans ideology has run amok in the health service for far too long.

Lauren Smith

Topics Identity Politics UK

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This week, it was announced that the NHS will declare sex to be a biological fact. Tory health secretary Victoria Atkins has vowed that the health service will ‘respect’ the fact that sex matters.

To anyone not following the twists and turns of the culture war, this will probably sound utterly bizarre. After all, how can a modern health service expect to function if it rejects or is sceptical about the science of biology? Yet in recent years, like so many of the UK’s other major institutions, the NHS has become overrun with gender ideology. We really do have doctors and other healthcare professionals who think biology is unimportant.

This week’s announcement relates to proposed changes to the NHS constitution, which sets out the rights of both patients and staff. If all goes to plan, after an eight-week consultation period, the constitution will be amended to define ‘sex as biological sex’. It is probably no coincidence that these proposals come just after last month’s publication of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into the NHS youth gender-identity services. This has led to a long overdue shift in the conversation around trans ideology and healthcare.

One particularly welcome proposal in the new constitution is for hospitals to be required to use ‘clear terms’, rather than the ‘gender neutral’ language that has become sadly ubiquitous. Ridiculous and demeaning phrases like ‘chestfeeding’, ‘people who give birth’ and ‘people with ovaries’ will be out. Instead, women will once again be described as ‘women’, rather than as a catalogue of their various organs and bodily functions.

Even more importantly, the new constitution will give patients the right to stay on a single-sex ward, when one is available. It will also allow patients to request that any intimate care is provided by staff of the same sex. As things stand, trans patients are allocated accommodation based on which gender they ‘identify’ as, meaning that male-born transwomen are allowed to stay in wards with female patients.

Needless to say, this is a humiliating and dangerous practice that should have been stopped long ago. Not least as women are likely to be at their most vulnerable, both mentally and physically, when in hospital. Tragically, the NHS’s ‘trans inclusive’ wards policy has had at least one horrific consequence that we know of. In 2021, a patient was allegedly raped by a transwoman on a supposedly female-only ward. The hospital initially refused to admit anything had happened. Management insisted that because there were no male-identifying patients on the ward, the assault could not have taken place.

While these changes will be welcomed by the vast majority of patients, NHS bosses are not happy and are likely to dig their heels in. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents healthcare leaders, complained that the NHS was being ‘dragged into a pre-election culture-wars debate’, rather than being allowed to ‘focus on high-quality care for all’.

In truth, it was NHS leaders who imposed this culture war on our healthcare system in the first place. Over the past few years, hospitals across the UK have turned themselves into temples to gender-identity ideology. They have rewritten their policies and reorganised their facilities to pander to trans activists. And they’ve spaffed away taxpayer money on pointless virtue-signalling junk, from rainbow badges to Pride decorations.

Last year, the Princess Royal University Hospital in south London spent over £3,000 on painting a giant Progress Pride flag on the side of a building as a ‘permanent installation celebrating diversity’. Between 2020 and 2021, the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust in Wiltshire spent £11,000 painting multiple rainbow crossings on its grounds. In fact, since 2019, more than 20 NHS trusts have collectively spent £46,000 on rainbow crossings alone. Is this what Taylor has in mind when he says the NHS should be spared from the culture war and left alone to focus on ‘high-quality care’?

With the NHS so far down the trans rabbit hole, it remains to be seen whether hospitals will actually bother to follow any of the new, commonsense policies. Technically, patients should already be able to request single-sex wards, or to be examined by a member of the same sex, under the rules of the current constitution. It’s just that the trans ideologues who run the NHS pretend not to know the difference between people’s sex and their gender identity. As Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary and recent convert to sex realism, put it: ‘Rights on paper are worthless unless they are delivered in practice.’

The NHS certainly doesn’t seem all that keen on delivering any of these rights. Only last week, internal documents from the Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust were leaked. These showed that the trust has no intention of upholding single-sex toilets, changing facilities or wards. There should be no accommodations for ‘transphobia’, the document said. It also likened those women concerned with single-sex spaces to racists. The terrifying truth is that senior figures in the NHS not only don’t believe in biology – they are also hostile to the sane majority of Britons who do.

The proposed changes to the NHS constitution are clearly sensible and long overdue. The health service must be dragged back to reality – kicking and screaming, if necessary.

Lauren Smith is a staff writer at spiked.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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