Ludlow 'nurses' too sexy for their skirts?!
The refusal of Shropshire Community Health Trust to accept £2,500 worth of funds raised for the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends by a group of men dressed as nurses is the latest storyline to find its way onto the pile marked ‘far-fetched’. Even Kenneth Williams and Sid James would’ve shaken their heads at it, despite the short skirts and fake breasts. Because who, in their right mind, would turn down two-and-a-half grand on behalf of a crisis-ridden NHS?
Okay, maybe if ISIS had had a quick whip round for Jeremy Hunt before being driven out of Mosul a few weeks back, that might have been grounds for saying “thanks, but no thanks.” But a few Shropshire lads dressed as nurses running round town shaking buckets at passers by? Oooh, matron!
In years gone by, the Ludlow bed-push - as it was known, before the beds became too tricky to push around town - has resulted in funds helping towards a new dialysis machine, a relative’s room and a minor injuries unit. This year they were earmarked for an ECG machine.
Cue Shropshire health trust chief exec Jan Ditheridge (which sounds like a Carry On name for starters), coming over all Hattie Jacques on us.
“Nurse! Stop that!” she barked, possibly, on spotting a group of the NHS’s finest running amok amid the blue remembered hills . “It’s demeaning and insulting to your profession,” she may even have snapped, before puzzling over the abundance of stubble, the hairiness of legs and the plasticity of large chests.
She might then have remembered that nurses can be men, too. Or that they may simply have been affirming their gender. But ultimately, it was probably the daft wigs with Ludlow Joke Shop tags hanging down by the bra straps that gave the game away. And that was that.
Such behaviour was “highly sexualised”, according to Matron Ditheridge, who promptly despatched a letter to the chairman of the League of Gentlemen - sorry, League of Friends.
“You and I spoke about the very inappropriate… behaviours of a group of men dressing in nurses’ uniforms,” the letter said. “The presentation of men dressed as female nurses… is wrong, very outdated… I see that this behaviour has occurred again this year.”
The Trust “wanted no part of it”, the missive concluded. In effect, they could shove their thousands where the sun doesn’t shine. Otherwise known as Craven Arms.
To be fair, such a policy is totally in line with today’s growing resurgence of political correctness. If today’s snowflake generation can take offence at an image on Facebook of a packet of sausages - because they once happened to be piglets saved from a burning farm by the same firefighters about to tuck into their barbecue earlier this week - then the sight of a bearded fella in a short skirt, laddered tights, smudged lipstick and dodgy barnet is a red rag to a bull. Unless he claims to be LGBTABCDE, or whatever the correct acronym is, of course. In which case he'd be entitled to a grant.
Curiously, no nurse yet appears to have been insulted by the whole affair. Which I find odd. Because if any boss of mine was to suggest that a bunch of fancy-dressed, Little Britain scruffbags like the Ludlow bed-pushers was how I’d look if I tried to be sexy, I’d be raising a grievance first thing in the morning.
Thankfully, the League of Friends has since been contacted by three other hospitals daring to accept the moolah. So Ms Ditheridge can carry on screaming as much as she likes.
A mutton for punishment, Black Sheep welcomes all comments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to air your points of view. You can also read Black Sheep in Welsh Border Life every month. And you can catch up with his latest outbursts on Twitter @onemanandhispen
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