The NHS is warned not to put 'ideology ahead of patients'

The NHS is warned not to put ‘ideology ahead of patients’ by health minister in latest row over gender policies

  • Will Quince says LGBTQ charity Stonewall should not make policy for NHS trusts 

The NHS has been warned not to put ‘ideology ahead of patients’ in the latest row over its gender policies.

Health minister Will Quince said LGBTQ charity Stonewall should not be allowed to write sensitive strategies for NHS organisations after a Daily Mail investigation revealed the trans lobbying group was behind policies at up to 30 NHS trusts.

He said NHS bosses need to start putting patient safety and ‘biological fact’ over militant trans ideology.

Asked by Times Radio if Stonewall should be involved in writing policies about gender in NHS trusts, he said: ‘In my view, no.

‘And the Secretary of State has also written to NHS England trusts. I mean, ultimately, this is an operational decision for individual trusts in NHS England.

Health minister Will Quince said that LGBTQ charity Stonewall should not be able to make policies for NHS organisations

‘But I would like to see those policies actually being written by trusts, having spoken with both staff and patients of those trusts.’

He said he disagreed that people who are temporarily identifying as women should still be able to access female-only wards, as is the case in some NHS England trusts.

Mr Quince said: ‘It shouldn’t be [going on]. We’ve got to be careful.

‘We can never put ideology over facts and indeed the concerns of patients and staff.

‘And when it comes to these matters, of course, we’ve got to act with great sensitivity.

‘But biology is of fundamental importance, as is the feelings and best interests and indeed safety of staff and patients and I hope – and sincerely hope – that trusts will always be putting that at the front of mind.

‘Again, it’s operational decisions for NHS England and the individual trusts. But biology is of fundamental importance, as is the safety and indeed concerns of their staff and patients so they should take them incredibly seriously.’

He said ministers do not have the power to order trusts not to use Stonewall as advocates because trusts are ‘operationally independent’.

A Daily Mail investigation revealed that some NHS England trusts allow people temporarily identifying as women to use female-only wards (file photo)

But he added: ‘I would just gently say to the trust that they shouldn’t ever be putting ideology ahead of the views and concerns of patients and indeed their own staff.

‘And I would like to think that the trust that have managers and HR teams and others that can do that consultation internally and develop their own policies without the help of organisations like Stonewall.’

A source close to Health Secretary Steve Barclay said at the weekend that he was ‘appalled’ that some NHS managers were engaged in ‘woke virtue-signalling’ by using outside groups to advise on equality issues despite his previous guidance against doing so, following the Mail’s revelations.

A Stonewall spokesman said: ‘It is vital that health services work with expert groups and trans people to improve those services rather than dismissing them as an “ideology”- an assertion that flies in the face of human rights and global medical consensus.’

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