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GenderGP has always supported people of all ages. We believe that gender expansive youth have the right to quality healthcare, delivered in a timely manner and that age should not preclude them from being believed, taken seriously or having the ability to be affirmed in their gender. In this blog we provide an overview of how our services for younger people work.

 

GenderGP follows the principles of:

Informed consent – the person must be given all of the information about what the treatment involves, including the benefits and risks, whether there are reasonable alternative treatments available, and what will happen should treatment not go ahead.

Autonomy – the right for patients to make informed decisions about their own medical care.

Self-determination – moving away from a paternalistic approach towards a more individualistic, client-centred approach where the patient plays a more active role in their own health and wellbeing.

 

GenderGP treats every person as an individual. The service does not adhere to a set period of time for ‘evaluation’. There is no age restriction on accessing interventions (though medical intervention is not needed until a patient has reached at least Tanner stage 2 of puberty.

We do not enforce parental consent but we do, where possible, look to work collaboratively with the young person’s immediate support network.

 

Accessing treatment through GenderGP

 

Step one:

Young Person or parent/guardian/carer visits www.GenderGP.com where a wealth of information is available on how to access care both exclusively via GenderGP, and in a collaborative situation with their doctor. Applications can be made through the Help Centre to access our services.

 

Step two:

Our clinically skilled patient Pathway Team works with the young person, and their parent/guardian, to understand their medical and social history and their needs. This informs our basic triage system with people falling into three broad categories:

 

Person A – very sure about their gender, what support GenderGP is able to offer and what support they need.

Depending on the patient’s preferred route, GenderGP can provide:

  1. Counselling, support and education for the patient and/or their support network, or discussion on options for transition.
  2. Medical intervention e.g. blockers and/or gender-affirming hormones.

 

Person B – unsure about the route they want to take but very sure that they want help.

The GenderGP patient pathway team will direct patients to the team of gender-specialist counsellors, psychologists and medics to discuss patient needs. Together they will agree on a plan.

 

Person C – wants to know more about the way we work so that they can decide what their options are and if this is the right route for them.

The person can ask any number of questions, or be referred for a Discovery Session (DS), which enables them to discuss their hopes and fears with a professional gender specialist in a non-judgemental environment.

 

Step three:

For those people who wish to progress, the two-way flow of communication continues with information gathering and sharing between the patient and the team.

During this process, the GenderGP Appraisal Pathway team takes the patient through:

  • an evaluation of their medical, social and psychological needs
  • interviews with a multidisciplinary team
  • blood tests (where indicated)

 

Information is gathered and shared using a variety of methods – email, text, telephone, video and face to face.

 

Step four:

Pathway conclusion. All information which has been gathered, is discussed by the GenderGP multidisciplinary team and then all available options, in terms of their individual case, are shared with the patient so they can make a decision on how they would like to proceed.

 

We prescribe hormones according to stage not age. Find out about our care for trans youth

 

Two-way flow of information

As a private health and wellbeing clinic, GenderGP works hard to keep costs down so that price is not a barrier to receiving essential care. Communications tools, including email, telephone and video, enable our patients to access the service from the comfort of their own home, as well as ensuring we have a digital record of all of our interactions.

 

Conclusion

The GenderGP Appraisal Pathway has developed into a hugely successful model that provides people of any age and any gender with the support they need. This support extends to the patient, their close network and the wider environment. There are no barriers, no gate-keeping just timely, caring, accessible support.

 

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash