NHS Ayrshire and Arran are facing calls to provide sanitary products to all patients, staff and visitors.

The demand has come from the Unite the Union ‘Period Dignity’ campaign who believe sanitary products should be readily available to all people within hospitals.

Earlier this year, a Freedom of Information investigation that was carried out by MSP Monica Lennon which revealed that no health board in Scotland had a sanitary product policy. In some instances, NHS nurses have explained that they were issuing their own sanitary products, having to buy a supply of products or having to ensure patients bring their own.

Unite have welcomed the progress to date but are demanding that sanitary products are made available in all NHS toilets, mirroring the pioneering commitment delivered by North Ayrshire Council who have led the way on access to sanitary products.

Councillor Joe Cullinane of North Ayrshire has been pressing NHS bosses on the matter.

He said: “Periods are normal and therefore the provision of essential period products should be normal too.

“North Ayrshire Council has led the way on access to sanitary products, becoming the first local authority in the UK to provide free period products in our secondary schools and then going further to extend that free provision to all our public buildings such as libraries and community centres.”

Speaking on behalf of the Unite Branch SC/157/NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Branch Secretary Jim McGinn said;

“Unite workplace representatives have been actively campaigning within NHS Ayrshire and Arran Hospitals to promote our Period Dignity campaign.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response of colleagues across the job roles and professions who have signed our petition calling for free sanitary products to be made available to all patients, visitors and staff in all toilets across NHS premises. It is clearly evident that hundreds of NHS staff are calling on their employer to ensure that the dignity of all women is non-negotiable.”