The Department of Health will allow female Muslim staff to opt out of a strict NHS dress code to cover their arms and protect their modesty.
But campaigners warn that the NHS is putting lives at risk because guidance that all staff should be ‘bare below the elbow’ was introduced after long sleeves were blamed for spreading MRSA.
The change has been brought in after some female Muslims objected to being forced to bare their arms on wards. The Department of Health has also relaxed its no jewellery rule to let Sikhs wear their Kara bangles as long as they can be pushed up to the elbow when dealing with patients.
The policy is in stark contrast to the treatment of nurse Shirley Chaplin who last week lost her discrimination battle against Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Trust which claimed the cross she wore round her neck was a ‘hazard’ in case it scratched patients. Read in full in the Daily Mail.