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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

Press Release Who said pornography was acceptable in the workplace?

2020health investigates the use of pornography in NHS fertility clinics and questions its acceptability.

NHS fertility clinics supply pornography on the taxpayer, new survey reveals
• Health chiefs condemned for promoting “adultery of the mind”
• Health Secretary urged to ban NHS porn

One in three NHS trusts is supplying pornography to patients in fertility clinics, according to new research based on official figures. DVDs and magazines are being delivered by NHS bosses, often at the taxpayer’s expense, either from newsagents or publishers, such as Ann Summers or Hidden Pleasures. One hospital, the Royal Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, even spent more than £7,000 of public money on a media suite and DVD unit to help men provide sperm for IVF treatment of their wives and partners. The “Porn on the NHS” controversy has been exposed by a survey conducted by 2020health.org, a specialist think-tank dedicated to finding radical new ways of raising standards in the NHS and health care more generally.

The practice has been condemned by 2020health.org’s director Julia Manning, the report’s author. She said that there was no practical or moral justification for the NHS supplying porn to IVF couples. Ms Manning pointed out that since two thirds of trusts did not use porn to help men provide sperm samples, there was clearly no genuine need for it.

She added: “We know of no government authorisation that sanctioned this, or any exception to any NHS Trust’s employment terms that allow staff to have pornographic material at work.

“Pornography deprives women of full human status and reduces them to sex objects. It gives permission to its consumers to treat women as they are treated in porn. And the reality of porn today is that it increasingly uses younger girls and is more violent and extreme.

“Seventy-seven per cent of the NHS workforce is female and they should never have to work in an environment that endorses pornography.

“That no one allowed the demeaning impact on female staff to override any spurious claim that this material was necessary is an indictment of the managers of those fertility clinics.

“The public sector workplace should be a leading and inspiring example of a safe and healthy environment, which elevates the dignity and respect of both men and women. The presence of pornography compromises this.”

By supplying porn, NHS chiefs were effectively telling men that they they “should sexually objectify an unknown woman while producing a specimen, rather than think of a partner.”
The report, Who said pornography was acceptable in the workplace?, found that out of 92 acute trusts and foundation trusts, 33 reported the use of pornography in their clinics.
In 15 trusts, pornographic material was obtained free of charge, (either donations by patients or publishers) while the remaining trusts purchased their material, with 15 trusts purchasing material from newsagents, and two trusts purchasing direct from publishers – a direct abuse of taxpayer’s money, especially in times of severe cuts.

Ms Manning concluded: “For the NHS to unnecessarily introduce addictive material – medium that is implicated in causing difficulties to people forming intimate relationships—to patients during their treatment beggars belief.

“And to do this at a time when men are particularly vulnerable, already facing the emotional and physical pressures of possible infertility, is inexcusable.

Notes to editors: For more information and media inquiries please contact 2020health.org

ENDS