Health Secretary Reveals He's Looking Into Law On Trans Patients On NHS Wards
4 March 2019, 10:16
The Health Secretary has told LBC he is reviewing the law on whether trans women can go on all-female wards in hospitals.
Matt Hancock was live in the LBC studio, answering questions from LBC listeners on topics around the NHS and social care.
Rachel in Bexley asked him: "Does the Health Secretary think that a trans female patient should be on an all-female ward, as was in the newspapers a few weeks ago when a man who was transitioning performed unsavoury sexual acts on some of the elderly female patients."
Nick Ferrari asked Mr Hancock: "Where should this woman have been in the ward?"
The Health Secretary responded: "This is a very very difficult question. The current rules of the NHS are that people are treated as they present.
"If somebody is a woman and has gone through the legal changes to be a woman, then they are treated as a woman. We have a very similar problem in prisons in terms of gender."
Nick queried if they had to have had the full procedure, to which Mr Hancock responded: "No, they have to have legally changed."
Nick then pointed out: "So they could still have a male appendage? And they'd be on a female ward. You can't accept that."
Mr Hancock responded: "You can see why I'm uncomfortable.
"I think this whole area needs looking at. We need to look at what the rules ought to be."
Nick put to him: "Well what should the rules be? That should not happen, surely.
"Someone who has a male appendage should not be on a female ward."
The Health Secretary paused before answering: "You can see where I'm coming from. I think that it's very very difficult.
"The current rules of the NHS, which were set some years ago. There's a lot of law in this space as well, meaning that we cannot just move without serious consideration.
"The problem is that is the current way the NHS organises itself. We are looking at it."