Healthcare is a fundamental human right and should be accessible to all people regardless of their gender identity. Those seeking healthcare should be treated with dignity, sensitivity and have their protected characteristics and identities respected.
We are extremely concerned by Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s plans, announced during a speech at the Conservative Party conference, which set out to ban trans women from female hospital wards. This reversal of ‘unacceptable changes’, including the proposed change to the NHS Constitution is a direct attack on the rights of trans women, and will ultimately restrict their access to healthcare.
Additionally, in a report published by TransLucent, following the submission of 102 Freedom of Information requests to NHS foundation trusts, highlighted that not one single problem or complaint was raised by fellow patients about transgender women on female wards in UK hospitals.
Access to healthcare for trans people is already often a challenging, traumatic and invasive process. Instead of developing thorough plans to best support these communities with consideration and care, this proposed change creates additional barriers, segregation and a severe lack of trust which is fuelled by discrimination and a lack of understanding.
It is vital that now more than ever, we continue to stand together collectively with our trans, non-binary and gender-diverse communities.