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Nurses reject claims that fancy dress fundraisers ‘demeaned’ the profession

Nurses have expressed support for fundraisers whose donations were rejected by an NHS trust because their fancy dress nurse outfits were ‘demeaning’.

Nurses have expressed support for fundraisers whose donations were rejected by an NHS trust because their fancy dress was ‘demeaning’ to women.


Fancy dress fundraisers whose £2,500 donation was rejected by their local NHS trust. Picture: SWNS

A group of men dressed up as female nurses as part of an annual fundraising drive in which a bed is wheeled around the town of Ludlow in Shropshire to collect money for the local hospital.

Rejected donation

But the £2,500 they raised was turned down because the NHS trust felt the men had portrayed female nurses in a ‘highly sexualised’ manner.

Nursing Standard readers posted on social media to say they were embarrassed and bemused by the actions of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, which runs Ludlow Hospital.

One nurse, Leanne Mahoney, posted on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page: ‘I am yet to find a nurse that's offended by this. What a total insult to these fundraisers. I feel proud that they are passionate enough to fight for us and try and raise cash to keep our NHS afloat!’

‘We are proud of them’

Tracy Higgins wrote: ‘Every year some of our staff dress up to raise money for Children in Need.

‘Their outfits are crazy, yet no one cares what they look like, they are raising money for a good cause. They go and stand in the road near the hospital, and majority of vehicle drivers will stop to give them money. We are proud of them for doing this each year.’

Lorenzo Gacuma said she agreed with the decision by the hospital trust ‘because I value my profession and I don't want people demeaning it’.

Sense of humour

Marlyn Guthrie replied: ‘Nobody values the nursing profession more than nurses. However, we have a sense of humour too!!

‘Frankly I'm quite embarrassed that these fundraisers have been treated in this manner!!’

Marie O'Sullivan responded: ‘I'm sure the last thing on those lads minds who did the fundraising was to demean our profession… what is demeaning is there is a need for fundraising to provide equipment that money should be available for.’

‘Outdated’

In a letter explaining the rejection of the funds to Ludlow Hospital League of Friends chair Peter Corfield, trust chief executive Jan Ditheridge and trust chair Mike Ridley, wrote: ‘The presentation of men dressed as female nurses in a highly-sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession.’

Mr Corfield told the BBC that the annual bed-push fundraiser had taken place every summer for decades involving men from the local community and was ‘light-hearted’.

He said the fundraiser was to pay for electrocardiogram machines for the outpatient and minor injuries departments at Ludlow.


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