NHS set to uphold ‘biological sex’ in all areas of care

The NHS is set to define sex as “biological sex”, as part of the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS Constitution for England.

The document, which is reviewed every ten years, is undergoing an eight-week public consultation before the Government publishes its response and an updated constitution.

Under the proposals, the NHS will meet the “different biological needs of the sexes” through sex-specific language, access to single-sex wards and same-sex intimate care. Previously, NHS guidance allowed men to access female-only wards based on their ‘gender identity’.


Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stated: “Men and women experience illnesses and conditions differently and this must be reflected when delivering their care. But we know that this does not always happen, with guidance left too vague or interpreted in a way that puts ideology before biology.”

She recounted her visit to a maternity unit which referred to mothers as “service users”, emphasising that the NHS “shouldn’t have to eradicate women from our language in order to be inclusive and welcoming”.

Instead, she said “we are launching a consultation on changes to make sure the fundamental principles that underpin all parts of the NHS are based on biological sex”.


In the proposed constitution, references to “gender” will be corrected to “sex” to align with the Equality Act 2010.

Executive Director of Sex Matters Maya Forstater welcomed the “excellent news”, saying the “confusion between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in official policies like the NHS Constitution is what has enabled women’s rights to be trampled over in the name of transgender identities”.

She added: “Clear language, single-sex wards and access to intimate care provided by a health professional of the same sex are crucial to the wellbeing and safety of female patients. They should never have been compromised.”

A Daily Telegraph editorial criticised the NHS for allowing trans ideology to override the ban on mixed-sex wards, saying its “wilful refusal to distinguish between sex and gender” allowed women to be placed with men and intimately examined by male staff.

Puberty blockers

Last month, NHS England agreed to review the transgender procedures it provides for both children and adults following the Cass Review’s final report.

In a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, NHS England’s National Director for Specialised Commissioning, John Stewart, said it will launch an evidence review and public consultation on cross-sex hormones for young people.

Dr Cass concluded that giving trans drugs to children is “based on remarkably weak evidence”, and urged the NHS to review its use of cross-sex hormones and ensure that gender-confused children receive a holistic assessment of all their needs.

NHS England has ended the routine prescription of puberty blockers to under 18s pending the outcome of possible future drug trials. Scotland’s Sandyford Clinic has also announced that it is pausing the prescription of the drugs to new patients.

Also see:


‘Children being put at risk’ by anti-Cass misinformation

PM told ‘pervasive influence of gender ideology’ demands inquiry

Medical expert urges Irish Govt to heed Cass Report findings

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