Midwives told to say partner during antenatal classes after samesex couple complained

first_imgHospital documents revealed the midwife had kept referring to the "fella's role" during the antenatal classes (file picture) The Trust said they didn’t have a written policy on how staff should speak to patients and their families.Last month, the British Medical Association came under fire after publishing guidance over the use of a raft of words that were considered to be potentially “discriminatory”. “You can also mix up the word order in common expressions, eg instead of saying, ‘men and women’, use ‘women and men’.”The BMA guidance added that words and phrases that reinforce stereotypes, cause discomfort or offence, or exclude certain groups of people through assumptions, could be considered discriminatory.Tony Williams, opposition leader on Blackpool Council said: “It would have been an innocent comment and there would have been no intention to offend.”I can understand if people feel offended or left out but I feel in this instance it would have been without malice. Both sides should draw a line under this and carry on.” The patient is in a same-sex relationship and felt this terminology was inappropriateHospital documents Midwives have been told to use the word “partner” during antenatal classes after a lesbian couple complained about a nurse using the term “fella”.The duo told hospital bosses they are too uncomfortable to return to the sessions and were given one-to-one sessions following the incident.Hospital documents revealed the midwife had kept referring to the “fella’s role” during the antenatal classes. Hospital documents revealed the midwife had kept referring to the “fella’s role” during the antenatal classes (file picture)Credit:Paula Smith / Alamy Stock Photo It said: “You should avoid references to a person’s gender except where it is relevant in a discussion.”The guidance suggested using “neutral” language when speaking about family unless there is certainty over which gender to use.It added: “For example, use the word ‘partner’ instead of ‘wife’ or ‘husband’, ‘parent’ instead of ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, and ‘child’ instead of ‘son’ or ‘daughter’. The document said: “The midwife hosting the class kept referring to the ‘fella’s role’ during the labour process.”The patient is in a same-sex relationship and felt this terminology was inappropriate, and that same-sex couples or single mothers could be made to feel uncomfortable.”The community midwives have been reminded not to use this terminology and to only use the word ‘partner’ in future classes.”One-to-one parentcraft sessions have also been arranged for the couple as they felt uncomfortable returning to the class.”A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said there was no additional cost for the one-to-one session. She added: “All our midwifery care is individualised to the family.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more