A BUS company in Worcester has refused to remove an advert featuring a sexy “matron”, despite nurses saying the image “demeans” and “devalues” them.

The sexy nurse image has been adorning the back of Diamond buses, promoting its routes between Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the city centre.

The blonde woman – who is wearing an outfit similar to those found in high street sex aids chain Ann Summers – poses provocatively next to the words “ooh, Matron”.

But the campaign has upset a number of nurses in Worcester, who feel it belittles the job they do.

Shaunee Irvine, a nurse and Royal College of Nursing steward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, said: “Using this kind of imagery to portray nurses is clichéd and, frankly, an insult to the intelligence of most people, and it’s clear that it demeans nurses and devalues the nursing profession.

“Nurses object to the trivialisation and gratuitous sexualisation of nursing, not least because it can risk fuelling a mistaken impression of nurses among some people, and this makes our already difficult job even more challenging.”

Both Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have received complaints, which they have passed to Diamond.

A spokesman for the trust said: “A number of our nurses are upset by this advertisement which they feel presents nurses in a derogatory and degrading manner.

"We have asked that these advertisements be removed and we are very disappointed that the bus company has declined our request.”

But Diamond Buses said the adverts were part of a “bright and positive” advertising campaign which had been shown to a group of nurses - before they were used - who said they found the adverts funny.

A spokesman for Diamond Buses said: “On several of our colour-coded routes we used humorous characters as adverts on the back of the bus to promote that particular service.

"In the case of the service 37 as it served the Royal Hospital we decided to use an image of a nurse.

“The advert is simply to provide a message that we provide a transport service into the hospital, a place which has its own parking issues and put a smile on people’s faces.

"Public transport has been seen as a boring alternative to the car for too long and we want to encourage existing and new people to use our services which in turn will reduce pollution and congestion in the city.”

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