NHS workers who grew beards for religious reasons were sacked after refusing to shave them off so PPE could be fitted, HuffPost UK can reveal.
It is the most shocking finding in a survey of nearly 500 Muslim, Sikh and Jewish medics that found most had experienced pressure to shave, even though in many cases PPE can still be safely fitted to bearded faces.
Newly qualified and locum doctors reported feeling particularly uneasy and reluctantly succumbing to pressure to shave their beards for fear of adversely affecting their jobs.
Dr Amer Hamed, a cardiologist consultant at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, was one of the survey’s authors. He got involved after feeling pressure to shave off his own beard.