A Christian nurse, who is suing an NHS Trust for discrimination, has claimed that the healthcare service forces a ‘racist ideology’ onto its students.
Amy Gallagher, 33, is taking legal action against the Portman Clinic in North London, part of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.
The nurse, who is in her final stages of a two-year course in forensic psychology at the trust, claims she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion and philosophical belief.
The mental health nurse took issue with the trust when she was allegedly forced to take part in a lecture titled ‘whiteness – a problem of our time’ in October 2020.
Amy Gallagher, 33, (pictured) is taking legal action against the Portman Clinic in North London, part of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust
The online presentation then said, ‘the problem of racism is a problem of whiteness’ and encouraged attendees to confront ‘the reality of whiteness’.
At a meeting with her course leader Ms Gallagher explained she did not consider herself racist and that she took a ‘colour-blind’ approach, meaning she did not judge people by their skin colour.
Ms Gallagher claims she was told that such a colour-blind approach is now ‘outdated’.
Ms Gallagher then filed a formal complaint to the Tavistock Trust in January last year.
In March the legal case was escalated after an external speaker complained to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, claiming that Ms Gallagher had ‘inflicted race-based harm’ and as a result could not work with ‘diverse populations’, The Telegraph reports.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said it cannot comment on any claims that are part of an ‘ongoing legal case’
Ms Gallagher said she believes it will be the first legal case for ‘lack of belief’ that argues that a white Christian woman cannot believe in Critical Race Theory.
The theory says racism is institutional and rejects the colour-blind approach.
She told The Telegraph: ‘They are forcing Critical Race Theory onto people – you’re not allowed to disagree with it, or they will bully you for two years.
‘I’m bringing this legal case to protect my career but it’s also the in the courts.
‘The NHS is forcing someone to adopt a racist ideology and it needs to be stopped.’
The nurse, who will be represented by Andrew Storch Solicitors, filed court documents in the Central London County in March, with her defence lawyer, Shakespeare Martineau planning to file his defence this week.
Ms Gallagher, who has worked for seven years, enrolled on the Portman Clinic’s D59F Forensic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy course in September 2020 to finish her clinical training. She had already completed the Tavistock’s foundation psychotherapy course.
Amy gallagher set up a Go Fund Me page titled ‘#StandUpToWoke Tavistock discrimination Lawsuit’ in August 2021 – it has raised more than £27,000
She said she initially enjoyed the two-year, part-time course, which will qualify her to set up her own private psychotherapy practice.
But became concerned when, in November, students were given a compulsory lecture on race and racism by forensic psychoanalyst Dr Anne Aiyegbusi.
Ms Gallagher claimed that the lecturer ‘spoke negatively about Christianity while no other religions were mentioned’.
In August 2021, the nurse set up a Go Fund Me page titled ‘#StandUpToWoke Tavistock discrimination Lawsuit’.
On the site, she said the money would help fund the initial lawsuit, class action lawsuit and an application for a Judicial Review.
It has raised £27,518 in the last year.
The nurse previously said that the Trust had threatened to suspend her from her final year of the course to become a psychotherapist, which cost more than £20,000.
She said: ‘On the basis of my experience there, what they describe as anti-racism is racism. What they describe as tolerance is an intolerance of anyone who thinks differently to them.
‘Left unchallenged, such institutional bullying will only be emboldened.
‘I feel passionate about this. I hope my case will prove that teaching these discriminatory ideas – as though they are factual and true – within the NHS or within academia is wrong.’
A spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We cannot comment on an ongoing legal case.
‘As a trust, we have made a public commitment to work to become an anti-racist organisation.’
In July, the NHS Trust’s controversial child transgender clinic was forced to shut down after a report found that it was ‘not safe’ for children.
The gender identity service will instead be replaced by regional centres at existing children’s hospitals, which will provide more holistic care with ‘strong links to mental health services’.