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No complaints made about trans women on NHS hospital wards, investigation finds: ‘None, zilch’

“Respect, privacy and decency are not too much to ask when we are in the hospital”

By Charlotte Manning

a trans flag drawn with chalk on the pavement.
The proposals were leaked over the weekend (Image: Pexels)

“Respect, privacy and decency are not too much to ask when we are in the hospital”

Not a single complaint was made about trans woman across NHS trusts between April 2020 and June 2022, an investigation has found

It comes amid new measures having been announced this week by health secretary Steve Barclay, who wants to ban trans women from female NHS wards. 

In December last year, trans advocacy group Translucent put out the results from an investigation where they sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to 102 different NHS trusts. 

“No complaints, none, zilch”

“How many natal female inpatients complained that a transgender woman inpatient was being cared for in the same ward?” they asked. 

The FOI request was put to 10 trusts across the UK, where they were asked for data from between April 2020 and March 2021. 

50 more were then asked for data between the period of January 2021 to December 2021, and 42 further between July 2021 and June 2022. 

However, the findings were very clear when returned to trans journalist Steph Richards, who said there were “no complaints, none, zilch.”

After getting the same response from every trust so far, she decided to stop her FOI requests. 

“Respect, privacy and decency are not too much to ask when we are in the hospital”

Richards said that the time and resources “would be better spent on patient care rather than responding to the same question time and time again.”

She went on to say: “I have discovered only a few cases where a trans woman did share a ward with a natal female, as, invariably, trans people are segregated into single-occupancy side rooms, and often that works out well.”

The journalist shared a story from a woman called Jane, who spent time on a ward with a trans woman who she dubbed “a right laugh.”

When Richards asked if there were “any issues about privacy”, Jane laughed in response and said: “That’s what bed curtains are for.”

Of course, she also highlighted some more negative experiences too, such as a woman who died as a result of a cardiac arrest after being placed in a side room. 

A 2021 Twitter thread from ‘Sex Not Gender Nurses and Midwives’ explained how the patient was placed in a side room instead of a women’s open bay. 

They added: She posed absolutely no threat to anyone, she presented and identified as a woman but staff put her in side room simply because they knew she was transgender and didn’t know what else to do. She died because of ignorance and thoughtlessness.”

Richards concluded her piece by noting: “Respect, privacy and decency are not too much to ask when we are in the hospital, and I am sure management and staff do their best to ensure that is the case.

“Several gender-critical “women’s” organisations campaign for ‘single sex spaces’ in hospitals.

“They claim there is a problem. They claim they are not transphobic. After reading this investigative report, many, I suspect… will beg to differ.”