A hospital told the police that a patient could not have been raped because her alleged attacker was trans, Britain’s House of Lords has heard.
The attack took place a year ago and the woman reported it but when officers contacted the hospital, which has not been named, they were told “that there was no male in the hospital, therefore the rape could not have happened”, reports The Telegraph.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, who raised the issue during a debate on single-sex wards, said: “They forgot there was CCTV, nurses and observers. Nonetheless, it has taken nearly a year for the hospital to agree that there was a male on the ward and, yes, this rape happened.
“During that year she has almost had a nervous breakdown, because being disbelieved about being raped in hospital has been such an appalling shock. The hospital, with all its CCTV, has had to admit that the rape happened and that it was committed by a man.”
Investigated by the police
The legal definition of rape means that it can only be carried out by a physically-intact man. Police are is being investigated by the police.
Lady Nicholson said that the case had arisen as a direct result of the National Health Service (NHS) policy – known as Annex B – which allows patients to be placed on single-sex wards according to the gender with which they identify at the time.
“The result is that hospital trusts inform ward sisters and nurses that if there is a male, as a trans person, in a female ward, and if a female patient or anyone complains, they must be told that it is not true – there is no male there,” she said.
“It is completely wrong that the NHS should be instructing or allowing staff to mislead patients to tell a straightforward lie. It is not acceptable.”
She called for the policy to be withdrawn, arguing that it “gives priority to trans people over women” and therefore threatens the “dignity, privacy and safety” of female patients.
Lady Nicholson said that the policy undermines the provision of single- sex wards, which were voted on by Parliament, and “undermines" protections for women that "took at least 50 years to come through”.
The NHS is reviewing the policy but The Telegraph revealed that one of those carrying out that review is a “trans advocate”.
Lady Nicholsonʼs proposals were opposed by Lord Etherton QC, who argued that the current policy was “entirely appropriate and consistent with the anti-discrimination law in the Equality Act”.
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