A Muslim radiographer was forced out of her job at a hospital after refusing to bare her arms in order to comply with new NHS hygiene rules.

The woman was told by managers at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading that she must either follow the national dress code designed to combat superbugs and roll her sleeves up, or leave.

She refused to abide by the rules and left her job, claiming she was discriminated against and forced to choose between her religious beliefs and her livelihood.

Islam teaches that women should dress modestly and cover their bodies while in public.
The radiographer was employed by an agency to work at the Royal Berkshire on June 16 this year and was told about the dress code.

The hospital claims she initially complied with it and that after voicing her concerns, she also accepted the opportunity to meet with the Trust Chaplain. However she refused the opportunity to meet with an Imam. The hospital also said that the Trust Chaplain and Imam both stood behind their 'bare below the elbows' policy.

The woman, who has worked as a therapeutic radiographer for 10 years, says she has been "emotionally torn about" over losing her job, but has vowed to campaign against the NHS's "bare below the elbows" policy.

Do you think the trust was right to enforce the 'bare below the elbows’ policy?

Do you think religious beliefs should be taken into account when implementing new working guidelines?

Do you think the 'bare below the elbows' policy helps to reduce the number of patients catching superbugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile? Is it necessary?

Should NHS staff just accept hospital rules and regulations without questioning policy?