Transgender women will be banned from being treated in female hospital wards, under new proposals suggested by the health secretary.
In his conference speech, Steve Barclay will reportedly announce plans to push back against what he calls “wokery” in the NHS, which he says has led to women’s rights being increasingly sidelined.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Barclay said: “We need a common-sense approach to sex and equality issues in the NHS. That is why I am announcing proposals for clearer rights for patients.”
He added “sex-specific language” has also been “restored” to health advice pages about cervical and ovarian cancer and the menopause.
“It is vital that women’s voices are heard in the NHS and the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients are protected,” he said.
A source close to Mr Barclay told Sky News he was “fed up with this agenda and the damage it’s causing, language like ‘chestfeeding’, talking about pregnant ‘people’ rather than women”.
They added: “It exasperates the vast majority of people, and he is determined to take action on it.
“He is concerned that women’s voices should be heard on healthcare and that too often wokery and ideological dogma is getting in the way of this.”
In April, Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said the government could ban trans women from entering female-only spaces, and asked parliament’s human rights watchdog for its advice to change official wording from just “sex” to “biological sex”, which she described as a “technical and contested area of law”.
New medical schools on the way – but Labour says they already exist
Elsewhere in his speech, Mr Barclay will announce an expansion of NHS training and funding of new technology in the health service.
He will also announce new medical schools in Worcester, Chester and Uxbridge, as well as an increase in the number of places up and down the country for students wanting to train to be doctors.
However, Labour said the three “new” schools announced already exist, adding the restrictions on the number of government-funded places mean they are only training international students.
Mr Barclay’s speech will be set amid the latest round of junior doctor and consultant strikes in England.
They are taking joint action, with Christmas Day levels of cover expected until Wednesday.
It follows two days of strike action at the end of September and coincides with Rishi Sunak’s first Conservative Party conference as leader and prime minister.
The Conservatives will be hoping to grapple back control of its conference in Manchester, which has been dominated with leaks regarding the northern phase of HS2 – which Sky News understands will be scrapped in the coming days.
While Number 10 says no decisions have been made, it is thought the section of the high speed rail project between Birmingham and Manchester will now be shelved.