Monthly Archives: October 2019

NHS Guidance on Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation

The National Health Service has published new guidance on how providers of NHS-funded care are expected to prioritise the safety, privacy and dignity of all patients whilst conforming to the regulations relating to same-sex accommodation. The general key points are that:

  • Trans people should be accommodated according to their presentation: the way they dress, and the name and pronouns they currently use.
  • This may not always accord with the physical sex appearance of the chest or genitalia.
  • It does not depend on their having a gender recognition certificate (GRC) or legal name change.
  • It applies to toilet and bathing facilities (except, for instance, that pre-operative trans people should not share open shower facilities).
  • Views of family members may not accord with the trans person’s wishes, in which case, the trans person’s view takes priority.

This has clearly been thought through very carefully and is sensible and encouraging. It does NOT “drive a wrecking ball through hard-fought-for rules and rights” as claimed by Conservative MP for Monmouth, David Davies, in the Daily Telegraph on 2nd October.

The guidance recognises that the Equality Act (2010) protects trans people from discrimination and it confirms that the best person to consult over a patient’s gender identity is the patient themself. The importance of preserving privacy and dignity for patients is underlined and reiterates the tenet that ‘good practice requires that clinical responses be patient-centred.’ Unfortunately, because of the binary nature of the provision it is difficult to meet adequately the needs of non-binary patients, but at least they have identified appropriate recommendations on how staff members should address this.
Just as in any other situation, if a patient behaves in a way that is inappropriate and puts other patients at risk, then special arrangements may need to be made.
To read the full guidance click on the link: