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Community trust refuses charity donation from ‘men dressed as nurses’


A Shropshire community hospital has refused a £2,500 donation from a group of men who had raised the money while dressed as nurses.

An event organised by charity, League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital, saw men dress up as female nurses and push a hospital bed around the Shropshire town.

“It isn’t ok to portray healthcare professionals in this way”

Jan Ditheridge

However, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust labelled the move sexualised, demeaning and insulting to the nursing profession.

Jan Ditheridge, chief executive of the trust, said: “It isn’t ok to portray healthcare professionals in this way.

“The presentation of men dressed as female nurses in a highly sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession,” she said in a statement.

Ms Ditheridge also indicated that the trust had requested that the charity did not to raise funds in such a way before.

“We have previously asked that this doesn’t happen and therefore don’t think it’s right to accept any money associated with this activity,” she said.

But she added: “Many people kindly and selflessly raise money for our organisation, and especially for our hospitals. We are eternally grateful for that.

“I’m sure the event was organised with the best intentions and we are sorry if it’s made people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed,” she said.

The annual bed push event has been raising funds for the community trust for around 20 years, according to Ludlow MP and government health minister Philip Dunne.

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Phillip Dunne

“It is a matter for Shropshire Community NHS Trust whether to take donations,” he told The Shropshire Star. But he added that he supported the work that the League of Friends does.

The trust’s decision and the activity of the fundraisers appeared to divide opinion among nurses on social media sites.

Nurse Lynn Hearsey wrote on Facebook: “I think it’s about time people got past the Barbara Windsor nurse busting out with stockings and suspenders for the pleasure of the male patients and doctors.”

But another nurse, Hilary Smith, wrote: “I am certainly not offended by these men who are raising money in a humorous way for their hospital.”


Readers' comments (18)

  • Harmless fun, all for a good cause.
    Can't understand the problem.
    From a female nurse, who is not offended.
    Thank you guys for your kindness.

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  • Get a grip! PC brigade attitude in times of struggling NHS trusts & when given the state of our world a bit if fun never hurt anyone. Female nurse who is not offended just disappointed that I have colleagues with such a trampy attitude

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  • Well done Ms Ditheridge.

    I'm proud to be a nursing student and feel no need to prefix the title with 'male'. Nor do I dress in a way portrayed by the fund-raisers. I applaud the meaning and goodwill behind the fun raising; thank you. But come on! We need more men in the profession and this sort of humour does not help raise the image or status that the profession is trying so hard to achieve.

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  • Agree with above comment. Portraying nurses in an overtly sexualized way does little to promote the professional image nurses have worked hard for years to attain. I applaud any fund raising and thank anyone kind enough to donate. However, Ms Ditheridge is spot on in refusing money raised by the parodying of nurses.

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  • I do not take offence in the way these men raised money. It was simply meant as fun while raising much needed money to help patients. If their fund raising antics deter men from nursing then they are probably not suited to the profession, after all they would certainly have to face greater challenges than a few harmless men in frocks. Laughter is good medicine and I think we should all take a regular dose!

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  • Is there any wonder that our precious NHS is in the state it's in when trusts are being run by such individuals. It is disgusting after these fundraisers have taken the time to raise money to refuse to accept it. It is what used to be known as a bit of fun, give the money to an animal charity lads, they will be more than grateful well done.

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  • Can't agree that they were demeaning nurses. For a start it is only a nod to a nurses uniform. And they don't actually look like Any nurses I've met. Secondly they didn't make any effort to impersonate nurses or suggest they could actually nurse people.
    I have far more concern over the 'sexy nurse' outfits available at fancy dress outlets or sexy nurse strippers etc the list goes on.
    These people went out of their way to help and this ceo went out of her way to be offensive.

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  • What if the sum raised was twenty million pounds? It would have patently been irrational to turn down such a donation. As far as I am concerned, it is equally irrational -and churlish- to turn down the modest amount actually raised. Money is money; every little helps. I doubt those fundraisers will bother in future; I know I wouldn't.

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  • Political "correctness" gone mad, sadly too prevalent in the NHS. The board should be dismissed.

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  • I totally agree with the hospital making a stand to support their nurses image and dignity. There are so many other ways these men could have raised money but they chose to use a tired old stereotype of the buxom, "sexy" nurse which I hoped had been consigned to the dustbin of history along with mother-in-law jokes and such like. Just because they have done this for years does not make it right.
    Nurses are meant to be professionals now aren't they? Therefore we need to educate the public that we are to be taken seriously and our knowledge and skills respected alongside that of other health professionals eg doctors, physios and pharmacists.
    I love a good joke but surely it needs to be appropriate?

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