Transgender Healthcare Services In the UK are Broken – URGENT Improvements Are Needed
Today GenderGP are launching our campaign calling for better transgender healthcare in the UK. We are asking everyone to sign our letter to be delivered to key politicians, NHS policy makers and healthcare oversight bodies, asking them to take urgent action to address critical issues faced by the transgender and non binary community in accessing timely transition healthcare.
Following recent events surrounding Dr Helen Webberley, we have been inundated with messages of support from current and previous patients, trans people awaiting transition related medical support, and family members of those we have helped. While these messages offered words of solidarity to Helen, many also gave heart-breaking accounts of failure by the NHS to provide adequate and timely transition related healthcare. We collated many of these messages here, but still continue to receive them on a daily basis.
It was while reading these messages that we decided; while GenderGP was offering a timely and robust alternative to the current (inadequate) transition related healthcare services provided by the NHS, more had to be done.
We wholeheartedly believe that adequate and timely transition healthcare for the transgender community should be available to all. Waiting lists of up to four years for a first appointment at a GIC is not good enough, and must be urgently addressed, which is why we have launched this campaign.
Our campaign letter has been endorsed by an extensive list of notable individuals and organisations within the transgender community and beyond, including a number of UK academics within the field of transgender healthcare and notable international experts, Aydin Olson-Kennedy LCSW, Executive Director of Los Angeles Gender Center, and Dr Norman Spack, founder of the first clinic in the USA to medically treat adolescents with gender dysphoria, at Boston Children’s Hospital.
We are now calling on all trans and non binary people in the UK, their families, allies, friends, colleagues, doctors, teachers, neighbours… – in fact anyone who believes that transgender people should have timely access to appropriate healthcare – to SIGN OUR LETTER HERE TODAY! Please note: You can sign the letter anonymously, if you don’t want your name made public.
The key actions we are calling for are:
- NHS waiting times for gender diverse patients of all ages to be urgently reviewed.
- Clear options on interim solutions to be made available to people while waiting for their NHS appointment.
- Assessment and treatment pathways to be modernised.
- Alternate healthcare solutions to be recognised.
- Clear information on how best to support gender-diverse patients in a primary care setting to be cascaded to those working in primary and secondary care.
- Clear guidelines so that GPs feel empowered to offer support, including bridging prescriptions and shared care agreements, where requested.
- Private care to be made available without retribution or consequences to the patient (as laid out in the NHS constitution).
Once we have collected signatures, we will be delivering the letter to key individuals responsible for the prioritisation, oversight and delivery of transgender healthcare within the UK.
In addition to signing our change.org letter, we would encourage people to contact their MP and ask them to help in calling for action to be taken to improve healthcare services for trans people. You can find your MP here and you can use the words from our letter which we’ve edited for personal use, here (don’t forget to personalise your letter to reflect your own experiences).
Together we can improve healthcare services for transgender people – Let’s make change happen!
– Dr Helen Webberley and the GenderGP Team