Hospital trust introduces disposable hijabs for Muslim doctors

Caroline Allen
It's the first hospital in the UK to offer this. [Photo: SWNS]
It's the first hospital in the UK to offer this. [Photo: SWNS]

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust is the first hospital trust in the UK to give female Muslim doctors and medical staff disposable hijabs.

The sterile hijabs were created by junior doctor, Farah Roslan, while she was undergoing her training the Royal Derby Hospital.

The idea came after many gruelling hours on the wards, where she worried that wearing a traditional hijab could heighten the risk of infection for patients.

To combat this potential issue she decided to look at what doctors and medical staff were doing in her home, Malaysia, to see if she could replicate it.

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After doing her research, Farah came up with the idea of a disposable hijab.

It’s designed to be sterile, allowing her to go about her duties while also maintaining a level of respect to her religion.

“I’d been using the same headscarf all day which obviously wasn’t clean and ideal.” She said.

“I didn’t feel comfortable taking it off and I was pulled out of the theatre, respectfully, due to infection control. A middle ground had to be found between dress code due to faith and the passion of being in the operating theatre.”

“I am so happy my vision has become a reality and that these headscarves are now available for all of the staff. I'm really happy and looking forward to seeing if we can endorse this nationally.”

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The hospital has high hopes for the future of the disposable headscarves, with a vision that they might be rolled out across hospitals in the rest of the UK.

Consultant surgeon Gill Tierney, who mentored Ms Roslan, said the trust was the first to introduce the headscarves in the UK.

“We know it's a quiet, silent, issue around theatres around the country and I don't think it has been formally addressed.

“It hasn't cost much and hopefully the effect will be enormous.”

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Farah shared her invention on her Twitter page, stating that she hopes “we will remove one of the major barriers in attracting a wider and more diverse talent pool in surgery”.

The news has been met with great applause from social media users, who have praised the junior doctor for taking the initiative.

“Now this is the kind of content that I would like to see more often on Twitter. Good job!” One encouraging tweet said.

Another simply wrote: “Inclusivity? We LOVE to see it.”

The new hijabs have been available since the beginning of December, and many people on Twitter are eager to know when they will be available to the rest of UK hospitals.

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