Authors: concerned nurses, names withheld on request.
Stonewall is the UK’s leading LGBT charity. It began as a lobbying organisation in 1989 and incorporated transgender rights into its formal remit in 2015. A key, and highly successful strategy has been the introduction of the Stonewall Diversity Championship Scheme. Organisations pay Stonewall for training and guidance to facilitate the adoption of a specific agenda which promotes trans- inclusivity through the implementation of policies to be embedded within organisational culture. These include trans specific guidance and toolkits. Stonewall champions are then offered the opportunity to earn a place on its Workplace Equality Index, in which scheme members are evaluated and ranked according to how well their policies and procedures align with Stonewall’s principles. The top 100 organisations are then ‘publically celebrated’.
Our Concerns with nursing’s affiliation and association with the Stonewall Diversity Championship Scheme
The history of Stonewall to promote equality and safeguard the rights of the LGBT community is one to celebrate. However nursing affiliations should be based on recognition of the evidence base, not ideology and judged on current record and strategy, not legacy achievements and reputation.
There are a number of publicised potential risks associated with becoming a Stonewall champion, particularly for public and professional bodies. These risks have been itemised in this comprehensive critique of Stonewall’s strategy drafted by a feminist legal team here.
Importantly, we believe that as a profession, there is specific risk to the reputation of nurses and our ability to work within our code of conduct from continued affiliation with Stonewall. We are concerned that Stonewall has spoken out against the recent Tavistock V’s Bell ruling which many view as a victory for child safeguarding against the experimental medicalisation of gender dysphoric children. We object to the undue influence that Stonewall, an unelected body, has been allowed to exert on healthcare providers to shape policy which does not align with the law and includes aspects likely to force nurses to practise against our code. We outline our concerns as nurses who love and care deeply about our profession and patients. The nursing profession stands distinct as the most trusted, governed by our code which demands high standards of practice and behaviour including; integrity, safeguarding, evidence based practice and a professional obligation to raise concerns and prevent reputational damage. We call on healthcare professional organisations, trade unions, the nursing professoriate and the nursing regulator to withdraw from the Stonewall’s Diversity Championship Scheme and for senior nurse practitioners, academics and other nurse leaders to also advocate for removal.
Summary of key objections: