Hospital shock over sanitary products

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

A shocking new report has found that patients in Dumfries and Galloway hospitals who have no sanitary products are forced to go to a shop or rely on nurses’ personal supplies.

An investigation by Scottish Labour found that no health board in Scotland has a policy on the provision of sanitary products to hospital in-patients.

An NHS Dumfries and Galloway spokesman said: There is no national directive around free provision of sanitary products to patients. While NHS Dumfries and Galloway does not have a policy on this matter, some supplies may be made available from wards and a variety of products can be purchased from the shop located onsite.”

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “These are shocking revelations from the NHS. To have no policy in place for when a patient requires sanitary products is not acceptable.

“By its very nature not all visits to the hospital can be prepared for and to expect nurses to use their own personal supplies for patients is simply deplorable.

“Access to sanitary products is fundamental to human dignity, health and well-being.”

“Not a single health board in Scotland has a policy to meet the menstrual care needs of hospital in-patients.”

Mr Smyth has called on the Government to take immediate action to ensure the NHS are providing sanitary products on wards, and that they develop formal policies to ensure that every patient who needs them has the ability to access them in dignity without relying on the goodwill of staff.