A Christian nurse has been removed from frontline duties in Exeter after refusing to take off a cross.
Shirley Chaplin, 54, a devout Christian, said her employer, The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital, was violating her human rights.
“For about 30 years I have worked in the NHS and nursed patients day and night and on no occasion has my cross caused me or anyone else any injury - and to my knowledge, no patient has ever complained about me wearing it,” she said.
The hospital rejected the nurse’s claim, arguing that all necklaces had been banned for health and safety reasons.
Mrs Chaplin said, however, that she had seen other members of staff wearing similar items of jewellery and argued she was being persecuted because of her Christian beliefs.
“This smacks of double standards and appears to discriminate against Christians. This blatant piece of political correctness amounts to the marginalising of employees’ personal human rights, a blanket ‘secularising and neutralising’ of the NHS intended to stop Christians from expressing their faith in the public services of the NHS.”
Responding to the 54-year-old’s claim, the trust said in a statement: “We accept lapses on uniform policy may occur among our 6,000 hospital staff and line managers are expected to address it with the individual employee.”