Apr 11 2010
UK Muslim doctors and nurses are to be allowed for religious reasons to opt out of strict NHS dress codes introduced to prevent the spread of deadly hospital superbugs while a Christian nurse has been banned from wearing a crucifix for ‘health and safety’ reasons.
The Department of Health has announced that female Muslim staff will be permitted to cover their arms on hospital wards to preserve their modesty.
This is despite earlier guidance that all staff should be ‘bare below the elbow’ after long sleeves were blamed for spreading bacteria, leading to superbug deaths.
The Department has also relaxed its ‘no jewellery’ rule by making it clear that Sikhs can wear bangles, as long as they can be pushed up the arm during direct patient care.
The move contrasts with the case of nurse Shirley Chaplin, who last week lost her discrimination battle against Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Trust, which said the cross she has worn since she was 16 was a ‘hazard’ because it could scratch patients.
Mrs Chaplin, 55, had worn the silver cross on a necklace since her confirmation. But the employment tribunal told her that wearing a cross was not a ‘mandatory requirement’ of her faith, even though Muslim doctors are allowed to wear hijabs or headscarves. Read more: UK DAILY MAIL H/T GC
RELATED STORIES: Islamic Britain