Shropshire

Men 'to repeat nurse uniform fundraiser' after Ludlow Hospital cash rejection

The fundraisers Image copyright Mark Hiles
Image caption The men's behaviour was described as "insulting" by a health official

A group of men dressed as nurses whose £2,500 donation was rejected by a hospital will do the same next year, one of them has said.

The group supporting Ludlow Hospital in Shropshire raised money by pushing a bed around the town, but the trust said outfits were "demeaning".

Jan Ditheridge, chief executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, has said the behaviour was "insulting".

But fundraiser Mark Hiles said they were "just having a bit of fun".

The hospital's friends group has said it was a "sad day for public support for our health services".

A letter co-written by Ms Ditheridge said: "The presentation of men dressed as female nurses in a highly-sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession."

Ms Ditheridge said: "We have previously asked that this doesn't happen and therefore don't think it's right to accept any money associated with this activity."

Image caption Mark Hiles said they had gone as nurses "because it raises more awareness"

Mr Hiles told Sunday Morning Live on BBC One that the group had "great respect for all the nursing profession", but they were "not harming anybody".

He said: "Are you going to stop the London Marathon, people dressing up... to raise money because it might offend somebody? No.

"It's a free world. We should be able to dress how we want to dress."

Mr Hiles said they had gone as nurses "because it raises more awareness" and they "stand out from the crowd more".

He also said he did not see any validity in concerns that it sexualised the profession for female nurses, who perhaps faced sexual harassment at work.

Mr Hiles said: "We've spoken to many, many nurses... I mean, there's a lot of nurses out there who've actually done this with us in the past and I haven't come across anybody that has had a problem with it."

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