NHS staff urged not to use the phrases ‘breaking wind’ or ‘passing gas’

NHS staff have been asked not to use the phrases “breaking wind” or “passing gas”.

Instead they should simply say “fart” and “burp”.

NHS staff have been urged not to use the phrases 'breaking wind' or 'passing gas'


NHS staff have been urged not to use the phrases ‘breaking wind’ or ‘passing gas’Credit: Getty

The A-Z of NHS health writing, which appears on its national website, states: “People understand ‘fart’ better.”

The guide insists medics use the words pee and urine but steer clear of “wee”, “which can confuse people who use voice technologies or screen readers”.

Other bizarre changes include a ban on saying “the homeless” or “homeless people”.

Staff should instead talk about “people who are homeless”. “Suffering from an illness” should be binned in favour of “people having or living with a disability or condition”.

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References to gender and the LGBTQ+ community must be couched carefully, it says.

The guidance is for use in manuals and leaflets and when communicating with patients.


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