The patient appears to be agitated

@Scottish_Women tweeted:

Case study from NHS policy. If a woman is agitated cos there is a man on her ward then staff should ‘re-iterate that the ward is female only & that there are no men present.’ If she continues to be vocal then ‘Ultimately it may be the complainant who is required to be removed.’!

The Gender Reassignment Policy Review page 16:

Inpatient Scenario:

A nurse is summoned to a patient’s bed in a female ward. The patient appears to be agitated. When asked what’s concerning her, the woman explains she didn’t expect to be sharing the ward with a  man and points to the bed opposite. She states it’s inappropriate to have ‘him’ in the ward with the other women. She tells the nurse she can’t relax and wants ‘him’ removed from the ward. If this doesn’t happen she’ll make a formal complaint – the hospital has a duty of care to look after her and they’re not taking this seriously by putting her in this situation.

The nurse listens and tells the woman she’ll see what she can do. She says that she understands having a transgender person on the ward will be upsetting to other women and leaves to talk with a senior colleague about the matter.

The response to the patient’s concern isn’t appropriate and breaches legislative protection afforded to transgender people. Someone’s trans status can not be disclosed to a third party without the express permission of the trans person and the assumption that others in the ward will feel uncomfortable is unfounded. In this instance there is no need to either disclose or seek permission to disclose gender identity. The nurse should work to allay the patient’s concerns – it would be appropriate to re-iterate that the ward is indeed female only and that there are no men present. Her duty of care extends to protect patients from harassment and should the woman continue to make demands about the removal of the transgender patient and be vocal in the ward it would be appropriate to remind her of this. Ultimately it may be the complainant who is required to be removed. The nurse should check with the transgender patient and sensitively ask if everything is ok. If the transgender patient has heard any of the discussions it is imperative that she is given every assurance that the matter will be dealt with. If the transgender patient is visibly upset and there is spare capacity, it would be appropriate to offer her the option to move to a single room, though this must be with the interests of the patient in mind rather than conflict avoidance.

General appreciation of transgender issues is relatively low within our communities and often this is used as a rationale for behaviour that is essentially transphobic. If a white woman complained to a nurse about sharing a ward with a black patient or a heterosexual male complained about being in a ward with a gay man, we would expect our staff to act in a manor that deals with the expressed behaviour immediately.

Emphasis mine.

Notice that there is no requirement to talk sensitively to the woman who doesn’t want to be in a ward with a man. Notice that the nurse is told to tell the woman that the ward is indeed female and there is no man present WHEN IT’S NOT AND THERE IS. Notice that the woman is discussed as a disruption at best and an evil bigot at worst. Notice that all the concern is for the man.

A woman not wanting to be in a hospital ward with a man is not the same as not wanting to be in a ward with a black person or a gay person. It is not the same.

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