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NMC reaffirms commitment to Stonewall’s diversity champions programme

Regulator’s statement comes after nurses’ letter in December raised concerns about NMC’s affiliation with the LGBT+ charity

Regulator’s statement comes after nurses’ letter in December raised concerns about NMC’s affiliation with the LGBT+ charity

The NMC will remain part of Stonewall’s diversity champions programme to ‘create a welcoming environment’ for LGBT+ colleagues in the organisation, the regulator has confirmed.

The Stonewall diversity champions programme was set up to help employers ensure inclusivity for all LGBT+ people in the workplace.

The reaffirmed commitment to the programme comes after more than 700 nurses signed a letter in December calling on the NMC to withdraw from the paid-for programme .

Regulator’s statement comes after nurses’ letter in December raised concerns about NMC’s affiliation with the LGBT+ charity

The NMC will remain part of Stonewall’s diversity champions programme to ‘create a welcoming environment’ for LGBT+ colleagues in the organisation, the regulator has confirmed.

The Stonewall diversity champions programme was set up to help employers ensure inclusivity for all LGBT+ people in the workplace.

The reaffirmed commitment to the programme comes after more than 700 nurses signed a letter in December calling on the NMC to withdraw from the paid-for programme.

Nurses say reputation of the profession is at risk

The letter, sent by Woman's Place UK, outlined several concerns about affiliating with the LGBT+ charity, which they said risked the reputation of nurses as a trusted profession and their ability to work with the NMC code of conduct.

These concerns included:

  • Stonewall’s support for the overturning of the Bell vs Tavistock ruling regarding the treatment of under-16s with puberty blockers, which raised concerns about children’s ability to give informed consent;
  • the charity’s advice that access to single-sex spaces in hospitals should be based on the gender the individual identifies with, which the nurse signatories said is in direct contradiction of the Equality Act that allows for exemptions based on sex if it’s a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim – such as a single-sex ward.

NMC reasserts its commitment to ensure ‘equality for all’

In the NMC’s statement confirming it will remain a member of Stonewall’s diversity champions programme, the regulator said being a member of the programme did not affect its ability to regulate the nursing profession fairly but instead helped it ‘understand the issues facing different equality groups and communities’.

‘We are acutely aware that women, as well as trans communities, face discrimination, inequality and harassment,’ the statement read.

‘We are a statutory regulator and an employer, and in both these capacities we are committed to supporting a health and care system that upholds rights and advances equality for all.’

Stonewall affiliation not connected to development of regulatory standards, NMC says

The NMC also said in its statement that the diversity champions programme has no connection with the processes used to develop regulatory standards, which are produced following wide-ranging open consultations with stakeholders, professionals and the public.

‘These standards include our Code for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. The Code guides professionals’ practice, and has equality, inclusion and human rights at its centre. It says that professionals must uphold people’s human rights, avoid making assumptions, and recognise diversity and individual choice. This person-centred approach is paramount.’

Stonewall has been contacted for comment.


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