NHS England is reportedly going to implement new rules that shall bar anyone who is considered racist, sexist, homophobic among other things towards staff from having access to non-emergency treatment.
According to the report, the move comes in conjunction with the release of the 2019 NHS Staff Survey for England, which revealed that more than 25% of company employees have experienced abuse of one kind or another.
Under current rules, patients can only be denied care if they make aggressive verbal threats or behave violently towards NHS staff. These changes shall come in to affect in April.
In justifying the decision Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a letter to the NHS: ‘Far too often I hear stories that the people you are trying to help lash out. I’ve seen it for myself in A&Es, on night shifts, and on ambulances’.
He then argued that such behaviour he found ‘horrific’ and that it wouldn’t be tolerated any longer. Some have welcomed the decision, including many higher up NHS employees, such as NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, and trade union members like Christina McAnea, assistant general secretary of Unison.
However, the decision was widely criticized online, with many feeling as though it was an authoritarian move, with others mocking it on social media. Other social commentators like those at The National Pulse have been similarly critical, arguing that such measures will undermine our freedoms at the expense of feelings.