United Kingdom

Convicts who were born male but identify as female can be placed on women-only wards

Sex offenders who were born male but identify as female can be placed on women-only NHS wards, according to guidance issued by hospital trusts.

Hospitals in Devon, Oxford and Nottinghamshire tell their staff that a criminal history should be part of a risk assessment when placing a person who was born male on a female-only ward. 

But they do not say it prevents the patients from being admitted.

Sex offenders who were born male but identify as female can be placed on women-only NHS wards, according to guidance issued by hospital trusts (stock image)

Some trusts have called opponents of the policies transphobic, likened them to racists in official guidelines and asked staff to report the ‘hate crimes’ to police, the Daily Telegraph reported. 

One trust told medics to withdraw treatment if a female patient refused to accept an intact male on women’s wards until 2019.

A Department of Health order says hospitals must provide single-sex wards and medics have warned that the guidance could breach their code of conduct by leaving the most vulnerable at risk.

Dr Jane Hamlin, president of the Beaumont Society, a trans support group, said: ‘If anyone starts off with an assumption that a trans person is a sex offender – or even a potential sex offender – that is discrimination and transphobia.’

The policies have been put in place even though a Department of Health order says hospitals have to provide single-sex wards. Pictured: The Department of Health offices in London

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said the ‘risk of sexual offending in a trans context is very rare’ and that if there is ‘significant risk’ staff would ‘apply the same robust mitigation that we would to a non-trans patient to ensure a safe therapeutic environment’.

The policies have been put in place even though a Department of Health order says hospitals have to provide single-sex wards.

And medical staff have warned that the guidance could be a breach of their code of conduct and leave the most vulnerable at risk.

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