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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Nurses' anger at MPs saucy snaps
A shot of the calendar
The calendar was produced to help save hospital services
A calendar showing Conservative MPs from Sussex posing with models dressed as saucy nurses has offended the people it was meant to be supporting.

MPs Peter Bottomley and Tim Laughton appear in the calendar to support a campaign to stop the downgrading of Worthing and Southlands hospitals.

But it offended nurses at Worthing Hospital who complained to Unison which has now called for it to be scrapped.

Mr Laughton said it was not meant to offend and was a piece of harmless fun.

Let's get on with saving our hospitals
Tim Laughton, MP

The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham said: "If any harm or damage has been intended to any nurses or professionals we wouldn't have done it."

He said the calendar was produced by a restaurateur in Worthing and was first distributed six months ago and was received very well.

"It was meant as a piece of harmless fun in order to promote a very serious cause about our hospitals and it got a very good response at the time," he said.

"What is the big fuss about? Let's get on with saving our hospitals."

'Dinosaur stereotype'

But Steve Brazier, regional head of health for Unison in the South East, said they received a letter from a number of nurses who were disgusted and outraged because of the way their profession was portrayed.

He said: "It is a dinosaur stereotype of nurses as sexual objects which is deplorable and inappropriate and unacceptable.

"It demeans the whole profession."

The calendars were the idea of a local businessman and show the MPs with the models wearing provocative nurses outfits.

The proposals being fought could result in Worthing and Southlands Hospitals losing A&E departments.



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