Hundreds of nurses call for exit from Stonewall diversity scheme

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Luke Ridley

By Luke Ridley

Published: 07/12/2021

- 11:45

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:49

The nurses worry their affiliation with Stonewall risks harming the reputation of the profession due to controversy over its gender identity views.

Hundreds of nurses have called on the Nursing and Midwifery Council to withdraw from a diversity scheme run by Stonewall. The nurses state the affiliation with the charity risks harming the reputation of the profession.

Stonewall has recently been in controversy over its gender identity views. It has said people should be able to access single-sex hospital wards based on the gender they identify as, also known as self-ID.

The nurses said they did not support Stonewall’s stance over the medication of children who present with gender dysphoria and its view that patients should be able to access single-sex wards based on their gender identity.

Several organisations, including the BBC and the Department of Health, have recently withdrawn from the diversity programme over concerns about Stonewall’s position and ideas on gender.

They also highlighted the charity’s behaviour towards those who speak out on gender ideology or challenge its influence, saying that it was vitally important for nurses to speak out for the rights and needs of women patients.

One of the signatories wrote: “I support the needs of trans people — but not to the eradication of women and women’s rights.” Another wrote that they felt unable to protect female patients over fear of being seen as discriminating: “I feel I am unable to protect my female/women patients, and advocate for them without fear of recrimination.”

The BBC’s decision to withdraw from a diversity scheme run by an LGBT charity was due to the “risk of a perception of bias”, one of the corporation’s bosses has said.

Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies said public trust that the BBC can approach “very complex areas” with complete impartiality is “the absolute bedrock” of its decision-making.

The organisation said in a statement on Wednesday that it would not be renewing its participation in the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme but will continue to work with a range of organisations to support its LGBT staff.

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