NHS Scotland Pride Badge

The Times has reported on the Scottish Government’s and Stonewall’s scheme to introduce a Pride Badge into the NHS: “Health service ‘acting like Stasi’ with Pride pledge“.

The leaked documents referred to in the article are as follows:

PDFs of the documents attached to the above email:
Pride Badge Guidance and Key Messages
Pride Badge Toolkit
Pride Badge Pledge Form

Pride Badge Video:

Staff comments:

District Nurse, Lothian:
“I will not need a badge to show that I can deliver patient centred care. I am already obliged by the Royal College of Nurses to report unsafe practice where I see it – I have never had to report my colleagues for negative behaviour towards anyone. This is offensive to me, I have been a nurse for 20 years and I have treated everyone with dignity and respect.” 

Physiotherapist, Lothian:
“Clinicians are members of professional bodies and bound by professional guidelines. We are already able to treat everyone with respect. I notice there are not equivalent badges proposed to show our support of people who have learning disabilities, English as a second language, who are frail, have faith requirements, addictions or any of the other individual needs that we take into account in order to deliver patient centred care. I am a professional and act in a professional manner and this scheme is belittling of staff who work hard to get things right for every individual.”

Caroline Connelly, 57, is a disabled woman who represented patients service users carers and relatives on the Greater Glasgow Health Council for 20 years and been a patient of the NHS for over 40 years, says:
“The NHS was started to treat people of every age, every colour, every creed no matter where they come from, free at the point of source. I’m concerned that this scheme is discriminatory, not to put too fine a point on it, where’s my badge? If we’re going to go down the route of making staff wear badges, where is the badge for disabled people, where is the badge for women? Is the pledge to be an ally to minority ethnic groups altogether or just those that are LGBT, it’s not clear? What about staff who don’t want to wear one; are they going to be frowned upon, because that’s just bullying at work, surely? Consultants will refuse to sign up, because they’re powerful, but cleaners, kitchen staff, laundry, all the people you just don’t think about that make the hospital run on minimum wage, they won’t be able to refuse. The NHS should be non-political and all patients should expect equal treatment, without grace or favour, no badges required.”

An administrator, NHS Highlands and Islands:
“At a time when the NHS is emerging from the Covid crisis and the stress on staff and patients, this emphasis seems extraordinary. Staff should be focused on supporting each other and concentrating on staff health and well-being, not on reporting each other for wrong think.”

Health Visitor, Fife:
“An independent review and report from University of Essex revealed that Stonewall gave bad advice that resulted in the Uni discriminating against two women, forcing them to apologise. Many public bodies and organisations, including Equality and Humans Rights Commision, DVLA, MoJ, Ofsted have already left Stonewall and Liz Truss is urging UK government departments to leave their Diversity Champion Scheme. It seems misguided that at this time NHS Scotland are doing the opposite, moving towards Stonewall and having them endorse this badge. Stonewall’s current reputation alone makes me suspicious of the purpose of the badge and how the information re those who do, or do not participate will be used. It’s divisive and we already have policies in place to protect LGBT and BAME staff and service users. 

Speaking of policies, in the afterglow of the Maya Forstater employment tribunal appeal, where it was confirmed that EA2010 legislation protects Gender Critical beliefs I’d feel more reassured as and employee and service user if NHS Scotland pledged to ensure that all boards policies complied with EA2010 legislation. We are already aware that NHS Scotland boards do not protect their patients right to single sex wards. Across NHS Scotland boards are breaking the law and making their change facilities mixed sex via self ID thanks to LGBT lobby groups involvement in writing the policies.  

NHS Scotland is Scotland’s biggest employer and it’s workforce is 77.4% female (based on IDS data, which frustratingly gathers data on Gender, not sex!), as one of those employees I’d much prefer they pledged to carry out an urgent audit of all existing NHS Scotland boards policies and EqIA to identify and eliminate institutional capture. While the purpose of the badge is to signal availability of an ally, I wonder how it will be viewed by the subset of domestic abuse victims known as Transwidows and their children, or parents of children with Gender Dysphoria who worried their child will be set on a medical and surgical pathway by current affirmation only practice, or anyone who wants same sex practitioner, or indeed those with Gender Critical views generally. As someone with skin in the game I can tell you the badge signals hostility towards women and their rights. 

I am further worried by the wording of the endorsement by Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Scotland and the Director General for Health and Social Care mention “transphobia” in her endorsement. Which definition of “transphobia” are they working with and who decided upon the definition? How will it be policed? Using which policies? Did Stonewall or similar LGBT lobby group help write these policies? Yes, in many cases they did. Which definition of “hate speech” are they working with? Stonewall’s CEO Nancy Kelley recently compared those who have Gender Critical beliefs with Antisemitism, for women within the organisation who hold these beliefs the scheme does not create an environment that is open, tolerant and inclusive for all.  Colin McFarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland & NI even uses the term “gender identity” in his Endorsement when it is Gender Reassignment that is the protected characteristic in law, this indicates his intention clearly to enforce “Stonewall law” as they would like it, rather than EA2010 law as it actually is and this will have a chilling effect on the ability of NHS Scotland employees to advocate for themselves and their female service users. 

NHS Scotland needs to read the room and distancing itself and employees from Stonewall, not blindly encourage us to run towards it’s death grip!”

A Scottish GP:
“Points I take away:
1. The + stands for “all other sexual orientations” according to their info. Being heterosexual is therefore included in this. This means LGBT+ now includes everyone. If everyone is included then why do you need a Pride month and allies? We are all LGBT+ We can’t be allies to ourselves. Who are we going to inform on if we are all now in this together?

2. The 46% attempted suicide risk of trans people has been shown to have been a study of only 27 trans people  of whom 13 said they had attempted suicide. This is not a large enough study to be statistically significant and the people in the study were self selected as they chose to fill in a consultation by the LGBT charity Pace. Transgender people who were happy and getting on with their lives are less likely to have the time and inclination to fill in such a study. There is also no evidence that the trans people who were unhappy and wanting to harm themselves were doing so because they were discriminated against. That is a huge extrapolation. There is an increase in mental illness and autism amongst people who want to change gender or have changed gender but there has been inadequate research in to why this is the case and no research has shown that more people wearing Pride badges and being nice will alleviate the problem.

3. The pledge where you promise to “call out hate speech” is concerning as recent legal cases have shown that one person’s idea of what constitutes hate speech is regarded as an alternative non hateful opinion that that person is entitled to by another person or the law. The general public and police and legal system are currently extremely confused about what constitutes hate speech. The idea of a group of smug Pride badge wearers informing on their friends and colleagues sounds more like East Germany in the Stasi days or China during the cultural revolution than a liberal Scottish democracy in the 21st century.”