Chaperoning male nurses only is discriminatory, tribunal rules

A former male student nurse has won a claim for sex discrimination against the NHS after arguing he was treated differently from female nurses.

Andrew Moyhing challenged a policy that only male trainees must be chaperoned when intimate procedures are carried out on female patients.

His initial claim against Barts and London NHS Trust was rejected. But an Employment Appeals Tribunal last week overturned that ruling.

During Moyhing’s training last year he was told that a female member of staff would have to chaperone him while using an electrocardiogram machine on a female patient.

He complained that female staff were allowed to provide intimate care to male patients with no chaperone present.

Jenny Watson, chairwoman of the EOC, who supported the case, said: “The Employment Appeal Tribunal was right to find that it was not acceptable to have a chaperoning policy based on lazy stereotyping about the risks to patients and assumptions that all men are sexual predators.

“This judgment should help to ensure that such prejudices become a thing of the past.”

Charlie Sheldon, deputy director of nursing at Barts and London NHS Trust, said the tribunal had supported Mr Moyhing on only one limited point, and only awarded the minimum level of compensation.

“In doing so they claimed Mr Moyhing had displayed an exaggerated and unduly sensitive reaction to being chaperoned.”

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