Shorts ban for hospital porters

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Porters at Lancashire hospitals could be banned from wearing shorts as they ferry patients around the wards this summer.

It comes as bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust scrap a uniform policy which allowed staff to wear shorts in warmer weather.

But porters at Royal Preston Hospital are angry about the move arguing that it is not fair as female doctors are able to wear dresses and skirts.

They are threatening to come to work wearing dresses and shirts in protest if the policy is pushed through.

One porter at Preston, who did not want to be named, said: “Its a bit of a joke when female doctors wear skirts all year round. We’re just pushing carts while they’re pumping hearts and giving life saving treatments.”

The change in policy, which will also affect staff at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital, will mean that all male members of staff must wear trousers between May and August.

Gail Naylor, nursing and midwifery director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that the matter had been decided.

“We have recently reviewed our policy and have removed the option for any member of staff to wear shorts as they do not reflect the high standards we aim to achieve across every aspect of all the services we provide,” she said.

However regional officer of Unite The Union Andy Ford told the Post that the policy was still under consultation. He said: “They haven’t agreed any changes. People are in discussion about it and any attempt to impose the dress code will be resisted and opposed. They cannot just impose a dress code with a arbitrary rule. If it was about protective clothing that would be different.”