The controversy between what Islamic beliefs and Christianity beliefs seems to be causing a double standard in the NHS policies. Before the recent revision of the NHS’s Trust Dress Code and Uniform Policy, the policy stated, “In order to facilitate good hand and forearm washing when carrying out clinical activity, medical staff must be “bare below the elbows” i.e. roll up long sleeves/wear short sleeves, remove wrist watches and any jewellery below the elbows except for a single plain ring. Ties, if worn, should be tucked in during these episodes. Clinical activity will include lifting or assisting patients if done at the bedside or in a clinic. Clinical coats should not be worn during patient contact and to protect clothes medical staff should wear plastic aprons if available.” . Now, the newly revised policy, as of March 26, makes it clear that staff may wear long sleeve shirts as long as they are able to securely roll them up to scrub and during patient care.
Major issues with this new policy change
Female Muslims refused to work since they could not cover their forearms. They argued this went against what the Koran teaches about women wearing modest clothing, yet a Christian lady, Nurse Shirley Chaplin, was told that she could not wear here cross necklace due to a risk of injuring patients. What I find interesting about this double standard is the fact in the policy of the NHS it reads, “No visible necklaces, chains, bracelets, ankle chains to be worn. This includes items in all metals or materials, including those worn for therapeutic purposes.” . Therefore, if Mrs. Chaplin wants to wear her cross necklace and it is not visible, what is problem? So, instead of saying no or yes to both the Muslims and the Christians, the NHS went against their own policy and created a double standard when they said yes to the Muslims and no to the Christians.
I say that the NHS should keep in mind what is best for the patients, and if they want to spend the money to provide Muslim workers with disposable sleeves then go for it. The NHS should go back to the way the policy was originally written and provide the sleeves to female Muslims, but they need to strictly enforce changing between patients and scrubbing of the hands and forearms frequently. As for the wearing of the necklace, unless the NHS has changed the policy on that as quoted previously, wear your necklace and keep it under your shirt.
The real problem that is going here, is that people are terrified to say “no” to Muslims because of their violent nature, and history has proven time and time again that Christians are peacefulpeople, and we do not like to handle situations violently. From a Christian stand point we all need to pray without ceasing and let God help us with the trials we are faced with this day in time.
Dress Code/Uniform Group Chaired by Carol Edwards. Trust Dress Code and Uniform Policy. Norfolk and Norwich, January 2008.
Petre, Jonathan. Mail Online. 12 April 2010. 23 June 2010 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265136/NHS-relax-superbug-safeguards-Muslim-staff–just-days-Christian-nurse-banned-wearing-crucifix-health-safety-reasons.html.