Christian hospital worker resigns over crucifix row

A Christian hospital worker has resigned after she was told to stop wearing a crucifix at work.

In the latest religious symbol row, Helen Slatter left Gloucestershire Royal Hospital after being asked not to wear a gold chain and crucifix with her uniform. Slatter, who had worked at the organisation for five years, claimed the hospital made her choose between her religion and her job.

But a hospital spokesman said the request to remove the jewellery was prompted by health and safety needs. He said: “Necklaces and chains present two problems. They provide a surface that can harbour and spread infections. And a patient could grab a necklace or chain and cause harm to the member of staff.”

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are supportive of our employees’ religious beliefs and indeed the vast majority of staff feel able to work within the policies of the organisation without compromising those important beliefs.”

Slatter was given the option of carrying the cross in her pocket but refused, the hospital said.

Late last year, a former member of staff at British Airways lost a similar case.

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