The Health Secretary has said he is reviewing NHS rules which allow patients who have legally changed their gender to be cared for on women’s wards.
Transgender patients are currently treated “as they present” regardless of whether they have undergone a medical procedure to transition, Matt Hancock told LBC.
The policy, which was “set some years ago”, means patients with male genitalia can be treated on women’s wards, he said.
Mr Hancock said it was a “very difficult” issue, but stressed the rules could not be changed “without serious consideration”.
“This is a very, very difficult question and the current rules of the NHS are that people are treated as they present,” he said.
“So if somebody is a woman and has gone through the legal changes to be a woman then they are treated as a woman.
“We have a very similar problem in prisons.”
He added: “I think essentially this whole area needs looking at.”
Pressed on whether he would seek to review the policy, Mr Hancock said: “We are looking at it.”