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02 ‘Have you had the surgery?’: A survey of transgender and non-binary patients’ experiences of interacting with the ambulance service
  1. Chloé Barley,
  2. Alec Tooms
  1. West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, UK


Background Pre-hospital research around the experience of transgender and non-binary (TNB) patients is scarce, with existing articles lacking input from TNB patients.

This research aimed to collate TNB patients’ experiences of interacting with the ambulance service. A secondary aim was to gather TNB patients’ opinions regarding the education of ambulance clinicians on TNB health issues.

Method An online-based, mixed-methods survey was created. A range of free text, multiple choice and Likert-scaled questions were used. Advertisement on social media was tailored to target TNB individuals who have had patient contact with the ambulance service. All respondents were anonymous and voluntary. This survey was conducted by TNB individuals in a personal capacity, without funding.

Results 72% of the 25 respondents rated their experience as satisfactory or above. 40% reported that identifying as TNB affected the way they were treated and 40% reported that they were asked about their gender by the ambulance crew.

In free text answers, the main themes identified were the misidentification of gender, the use of incorrect pronouns, hospital handovers, intrusive/irrelevant questioning and the need for training.

Conclusions The responses suggest that TNB patients feel that being asked about their gender is important however ambulance staff sometimes struggled to address this sensitively. Positive experiences included having gender and pronouns addressed in hospital handover which can form a recommendation for best practice. Negative experiences were associated with being misgendered, using incorrect pronouns and intrusive/irrelevant questioning. Survey responses led to practical recommendations for ambulance staff interacting with TNB patients, including the authors creating a training session which has received positive feedback from clinicians. Limitations include small sample size, potential for response bias due to survey being self-selecting and missing demographic data. Recommendations for further research are to provide a more in-depth exploration of TNB experience and of ambulance staff views.

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