Staff at an NHS quango have been told to phone the police and use social media to call out transphobic language.
NHS Health Education England (HEE), a management quango for workforce training, has drawn up a new guide for its 3,700 staff, titled “how to be a trans ally".
The manual, seen by The Telegraph, has 10 tips including to “challenge transphobic behaviour and language”.
Officials are told to “use social media to challenge the bigotry that the media is perpetuating” and, if they witness such behaviour, to inform a manager or the police, if outside the workplace.
According to the manual, staff should “avoid he/she, ladies/gentleman and use ‘they’ instead” and introduce themselves with their pronouns.
The guide also says staff should “support their (trans people’s) choice of bathroom” as this is “what we all do at home”.
Trans hate crimes can be reported to the police if they are perceived by the victim to be motivated by hostility or prejudice. However, transphobic language is a greyer area with police involved in numerous rows with gender-critical feminists over their view that trans women are not the same as women.
Member of Stonewall scheme
NHS HEE is part of Stonewall's £3,000-a-year diversity champions scheme, as well as the LGBT lobby group's workplace equality index, a benchmarking scheme which marks employers through audits on their trans allyship and gender-neutral language.
Last week, Dr Navina Evans, NHS HEE’s £190,000-a-year chief executive, launched a defence of the controversial diversity champions scheme, despite calls from ministers for public bodies to cut ties.
In a public statement, Dr Evans wrote: “Many organisations in health and care have found Stonewall helpful as a way of developing a sense of belonging and inclusion for LGBTQI+ staff, and in HEE we welcome the support Stonewall provides us to help achieve this aim. ”
She added that “diversity and inclusion is of great importance to us, not only morally, but also in a business sense” and “now, more than ever, is the time to educate ourselves and others to become active trans and non-binary allies”.
Tory peers have now urged Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, to extend his war on waste to include diversity training, with many NHS bodies still signed up to Stonewall schemes.
'Perplexed' by prioritising of programme
Baroness Jenkin of Kennington told The Telegraph: “At a time when everyone is tightening their belts, many will be perplexed by the cost and prioritising of this [Stonewall] programme when what they want is good and efficient healthcare for themselves and their families.”
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne said: “It’s very difficult indeed to see this as high-quality use of hard-pressed taxpayers’ funding – when NHS professionals are striking for higher salaries. If every little counts, profligacy of this type seems hard to swallow.”
NHS HEE has 10 executives on six-figure salaries, with seven on higher remuneration than the Prime Minister's £164,080.
A Health Education England spokesman said: “We educate and train 250,000 people at any one time, but we are responsible for the entire future workforce.
“To ensure these learners can deliver high-quality care for everybody, regardless of who the patient is, we seek to support all potential NHS staff by making them welcome and able to give their best for patients.
“Staff experience and wellbeing is a vital part of supporting the Government to make the NHS a better place to work for all to improve patient care.”