A male nurse who accused two NHS trusts of sex discrimination for refusing to permit him to carry out routine procedures on female patients has had his claims quashed at an employment tribunal.
Andrew Moyhing said that he was forced to give up training to be a nurse because he was only allowed to conduct procedures on male patients while female colleagues were taught how to treat both sexes.
Moyhing said he was prevented from learning how to carry out intimate examinations on women, such as cervical smears, and told he must have a female member of staff present before using an echo cardiogram machine on a female patient.
But the tribunal, involving Barts and the London NHS Trust and Homerton University Hospitals NHS Trust in east London, found no evidence to support Moyhing’s claims that his training was affected because of his gender.
Charlie Sheldon, deputy director of nursing at Barts and the London NHS Trust, said: “The patient is central to everything we do and we always take into account their beliefs, wishes and cultural needs with regard to privacy and dignity. We believe patients should be offered access to staff of their own gender, especially if intimate care is needed. The choice rests always with the patient.”
Moyhing said: “At present male nurses are seen as a bit of an oddity simply because there are so many more female than male nurses in the profession. This should not be used as an excuse. If male students are treated more equally, those like me who felt forced to abandon nursing as a career will stay on.”
Moyhing, who was backed by the Equal Opportunities Commission, now works in financial services.