Writing to Public Officials (eg heads of NHS Trusts)

These are some of the most useful letters that you can write. Also, some of the most difficult as you don’t have a direct relationship with them and they are not accountable to you. 

Why are we writing? 

Often policies are adopted without legal basis – for example using the Equality Act on a Stonewall interpretation rather than allowing legitimate sex-based exemptions. Organisations do this sometimes because they have been “Stonewalled”, but some leaders really just haven’t understood the implications of “Transwomen are Women”. Others will have one eye on what they think is “the right side of history”. 

What should you include: 

Facts and evidence are really important – these leaders will be sceptical.

Be polite and assertive but don’t overstep the mark! This is an exercise in persuasion, not coercion. 

They need to be made to understand that they might not actually be on “the right side of history”. Very few of these leaders have personal skin in the game and almost all will have an eye to their future reputation. There is a kind of revolving door that will get them moving up the scale as long as no scandal happens on their watch. You have to remind them that it might. If they want woke cookies, you might not be able to stop them. But you can remind them that they are not free. 

So make it clear (ideally in the last paragraph) that if and when an Inquiry into the issue takes place – for example after a serious safeguarding breach – you will bring your letter to the attention of the Inquiry, so that there will be no question of their not having the opportunity to address or warning about the issue. Make it clear that you will look to hold them, personally, to account for the consequences of the decision. 

There is an example here.

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