We have today sent a letter to the Nursing and Midwifery Council which calls on them to withdraw from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and Workplace Equality Index.
The letter also calls on the Chief Nurses of the UK to support similar withdrawals by NHS bodies and trusts.
The letter has been signed by over 700 nurses and midwives working in the UK.
We look forward to hearing the NMC response.
We have today sent a copy of this letter, drafted and organised by nurses and midwives working in the UK, to the Nursing and Midwifery Council calling on them to withdraw from Stonewall schemes. The letter also calls on the Chief Nurses of the UK to support similar withdrawals by NHS bodies and trusts.
The letter has been signed by 719 professionals who have affirmed they are either current or retired NMC registrants.
We have not included in this list the other 19 signatories who did not feel confident enough to give their full names. This is testimony to the nervousness many healthcare professionals feel in speaking out.
To protect the identity of signatories, we are not making their names public.
You can read the full analysis behind the NMC letter here.
This action has received widespread press coverage including in The Times, The Daily Mail, The Scottish Daily Express and The Nursing Standard and shows that this is an issue of great concern to patients and the wider general public.
Patients and NMC registrants need clear leadership from the NMC and the Chief Nurses to ensure nursing care is centred within the code.
The letter calls for
- the NMC to withdraw from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and Workplace Equality Index.
- the four Chief Nurses of the UK to publicly support the withdrawal of NHS bodies and Trusts from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and to commit that all affiliations and policies requiring action or fulfilment by nurses be fully conversant with our Code.
We look forward to hearing their response, the text of which we will share via our website and social media accounts.
We would like to thank everyone who has read, signed and shared this letter to raise awareness of concerns professionals have about the impact of the Stonewall schemes in healthcare.
In particular, we would like to thank those nurses and midwives who have added their names to this letter despite a very real fear of repercussions.
As one Mental Health Nurse said in her blog for us:
In the same breath, I am devastated by the extent of fear that professional nurses face for speaking out on this topic. Since starting to speak out on social media and advocating for sex based rights, I have received numerous messages of support, often from people much higher up in NHS trusts than me.
People who have been respected in their roles for many years and have a track record of delivering outstanding nursing care are fearful of the repercussions of expressing the opinion that biological sex exists. They remain anonymous.
I am also part of a group of nurses and midwives who strongly advocate for single-sex spaces and safeguarding vulnerable women, many of whom have horrendous histories of abuse and exploitation. There are articulate, accomplished women in nursing and midwifery who are petrified of anyone finding out their names and who will not publish their views on social media. These are women who have acted with nothing but care and professionalism throughout long and successful careers.
I still carry this anxiety of losing my job or being abused, but my passion surrounding this subject supersedes this. I also feel, as a woman in my thirties, many of us have been a passive generation who have subconsciously left the battles to others.
I now feel that is the time for those who are able to express their voice to speak.
We are pleased to have been able to ensure these voices are heard.
Women will not be silenced.
WPUK 23rd December 2021
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.