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Written Question
Hospital Wards: Females
Wednesday 1st May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government how they plan to strengthen the privacy and dignity of female patients in NHS hospitals.

Answered by Lord Markham - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government is committed to upholding the rights of women and girls and ensuring they are properly represented in healthcare services, communications, and guidance.

That is why we are currently consulting on updates to the NHS Constitution for England to shape the principles and values of the National Health Service and ensure the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients, including women, are embedded in how it operates.

Our proposed changes to the NHS Constitution reinforce the NHS’s commitment to providing single-sex wards and will empower patients to request that intimate care is carried out by someone of the same biological sex, where reasonably possible.


Written Question
Hospital Wards: Gender
Friday 26th April 2024

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to direct NHS England to withdraw Annex B of its guidance Delivering same-sex accommodation, published in September 2019.

Answered by Lord Markham - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS England is updating their Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation guidance, and a revised version will be published in due course. It is imperative that National Health Service trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients. The Government has been clear that patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex, and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities.

As previously announced, proposals to protect the privacy, dignity, and safety of patients will be brought forward soon as part of the review of the NHS Constitution and its handbook. Any measures consulted on will be in line with the Equality Act 2010, respecting the rights of all patients in hospital settings.


Written Question
Schools: Gender Recognition
Tuesday 17th November 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish new transgender guidance for schools; and when such guidance will be available.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department continues to work closely with the Government Equalities Office to understand developments in this area, including non-departmental guidance and reports, and consider how government can best support the school sector.

We recognise that these are complex and sensitive matters to navigate, and schools are best placed to work with parents, pupils and public services to decide what is best for individual children – and what is best for all others in the school.

To note, the department has published guidance to help schools understand how to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.

In relation to teaching, the department has recently published implementation guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). This sets out that all resources used in teaching about gender and biological sex should be age-appropriate and evidence based. Teachers should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests, or the clothes they prefer to wear – they should of course always seek to treat individual students with empathy and support.


Written Question
Schools: Gender Recognition
Tuesday 17th November 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government which Government department is responsible for the policy contained in guidance and reports on transgender education in schools.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department continues to work closely with the Government Equalities Office to understand developments in this area, including non-departmental guidance and reports, and consider how government can best support the school sector.

We recognise that these are complex and sensitive matters to navigate, and schools are best placed to work with parents, pupils and public services to decide what is best for individual children – and what is best for all others in the school.

To note, the department has published guidance to help schools understand how to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.

In relation to teaching, the department has recently published implementation guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). This sets out that all resources used in teaching about gender and biological sex should be age-appropriate and evidence based. Teachers should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests, or the clothes they prefer to wear – they should of course always seek to treat individual students with empathy and support.


Written Question
Gender Recognition: Discrimination
Friday 5th June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) amend the Equality Act 2010, and (2) introduce new legislation, to ensure that there is a clear legal definition of transgender discrimination.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The Equality Act 2010 includes a clear legal definition of transgender discrimination. Under the Act a person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if that person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. For the purposes of the Act, somebody with this protected characteristic is known as a transsexual person and in general cannot be treated differently for being transsexual.

The government will publish its response to the GRA consultation in due course, which will take into account any changes to legislation that may be necessary.


Written Question
Gender Recognition
Friday 5th June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the clarity of the language relating to transgender issues in their publications and guidance; and what plans they have to take steps to clarify that language where issues have been identified.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

As part of our engagement on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA), single-sex and separate-sex service providers were asked whether they felt confident interpreting the Equality Act 2010 with regards to providing services for transgender people. Many single-sex service providers reported that they felt confident doing so. We are also aware that others, including some campaign organisations, have highlighted a desire for greater clarity from the Government about the law and guidance in this area. We intend to say more on this when we publish our response to the GRA consultation.


Written Question
Hospitals: Gender
Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the Equality Act 2010 to require hospitals to provide single-sex services.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The government is committed to maintaining protections for single-sex services. Hospitals are already able, under Paragraph 27 (5)(a) of Schedule 3 of the Equality Act 2010, to provide such services and the NHS’s guidance on Delivering Same Sex Accommodation, published in September 2019, is very clear that hospitals must provide such services, with very few exceptions.

We have no plans to change the Equality Act 2010 to require hospitals to provide single-sex services.


Written Question
Government Departments: Equality
Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place in (1) Government departments, and (2) Government-funded institutions, to ensure that no person is discriminated against on the grounds of (a) age, (b) disability, (c) marriage and civil partnership, (d) pregnancy and maternity, (e) race, (f) religion or belief, (g) sex, and (h) sexual orientation.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The Equality Act 2010, which applies to all employers and providers of services and functions including Government departments and Government funded institutions, proscribes discrimination on the grounds of each of the protected characteristics listed in the Question.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced statutory codes to support understanding of the Equality Act 2010, including on Employment and Services, Public Functions and Associations.

In addition, under the Public Sector Equality Duty, set out in the Equality Act 2010, all public authorities and those delivering public functions must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act; advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The protected characteristics covered by the duty include all those listed in the Question.

In 2015, GEO published a guide on ‘Providing services for transgender customers’, which was applicable, but not limited, to the public sector. There are many examples of Government produced guidance to help with the provision of services that take protected characteristics into account, such as the Inclusive Transport Strategy and www.gov.uk guidance on disability and pregnancy.


Written Question
Government Departments: Gender Recognition
Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they provide to (1) Government departments, and (2) Government-funded institutions, about providing services for those who (1) self-identify their gender, and (2) are protected under the characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010 that are not related to gender transition.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The Equality Act 2010, which applies to all employers and providers of services and functions including Government departments and Government funded institutions, proscribes discrimination on the grounds of each of the protected characteristics listed in the Question.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced statutory codes to support understanding of the Equality Act 2010, including on Employment and Services, Public Functions and Associations.

In addition, under the Public Sector Equality Duty, set out in the Equality Act 2010, all public authorities and those delivering public functions must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act; advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The protected characteristics covered by the duty include all those listed in the Question.

In 2015, GEO published a guide on ‘Providing services for transgender customers’, which was applicable, but not limited, to the public sector. There are many examples of Government produced guidance to help with the provision of services that take protected characteristics into account, such as the Inclusive Transport Strategy and www.gov.uk guidance on disability and pregnancy.


Written Question
Public Sector: Gender Recognition
Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Asked by: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of public sector workers who have lost their jobs due to their views on the rights of people to self-identify their gender.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

This information is not collected centrally, but we are not aware of any case of this sort.