Let's talk about sex by Emma Parnell

A story about how I helped make the national booking service for COVID-19 vaccination appointments inclusive for people of any sex or gender.

Working on the rapid design and development of the national booking service for COVID-19 vaccinations, we hit on a technical constraint. The API the service needed to use to verify someone's identity contained 'gender' as a mandatory field. 

This is the story of working to design the question inclusively so trans and non-binary people felt comfortable booking and accessing the vaccination service. It's also a lesson in how to champion for wider change and why it's important to make the case for development work on infrastructure services that have wide reaching impact.
Emma Parnell wearing glasses and smiling in front of a yellow wall.

Emma Parnell

Emma's bio

Emma works as Service Design Lead for NHS Digital. Since joining in July 2020 she’s worked as part of the NHS.uk team across various COVID-19 services including ‘Book a coronavirus vaccination’ and ‘Get your coronavirus vaccination status’. New to health, but with 15 years design experience, she loves designing and delivering services that improve people’s lives.