NHS staff have demanded that the service must reinstate the word ‘woman’ in its cancer and pregnancy website pages.
More than 1,000 health service workers called for the change as at least 19 female health pages on the website do not include the term ‘woman’ or if it is used it is accompanied by inclusive language.
1,200 NHS doctors, nurses and health practitioners have written to their bosses and four UK chief nursing officers to raise the ‘discriminatory’ change ‘which harms women’.
The letter, which was revealed to the Daily Telegraph, said: ‘Removal of sex-based language is discriminatory and could leave the NHS open to legal challenge.
‘We call for the reinstatement of sex-based, respectful communication that meets the healthcare needs of women.
‘Specifically, the NHS must use women’s words for women’s bodies and women’s health problems.
‘NHS.UK healthcare messaging shows a lack of concern for women, is disrespectful and insults women.’
The Clinical Advisory Network on Sex and Gender wrote the letter after noticing that many NHS.UK webpages had begun using terms such as ‘you’, ‘people’ or ‘person’.
The NHS guidance page on miscarriages previously read ‘for most women, a miscarriage is a one-off event and they go on to have a successful pregnancy in future’ now it has been changed to ‘most people’.
The letter’s signatories include four ex-NHS trust executives, Maura Buchanan, a previous Royal College of Nursing president and two peers.