999 services pressured to use gender-neutral terms

London Ambulance Service is considering changing how it addresses callers after transgender activists branded terms such as ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ “old fashioned” and ‘potentially offensive’.

Campaigners are pushing for these terms to be replaced with more gender-neutral words.

Jules Lockett, the Joint Head of London Ambulance Service’s LGBT network told an activist conference that call handling staff were being “steered away” from the age-old terms.

No change

Gender Recognition Certificates have been issued to fewer than 5,000 people in the UK.

The Gender Identification Research & Education Society said, “Inappropriate pronouns do cause stress”, adding that it was important to get all the necessary information quickly and “without giving offence”.

A spokesperson for London Ambulance Service said it has not “changed policy in relation to how patients are referred to during 999 calls”.

Related Resources