Statement in response to the NHS Service Specifications for young transgender people
“GenderGP will continue to provide access to this care. We understand that it is necessary, safe, effective and life-saving.”
This month the UK NHS Specialised Services published the Service Specifications which outline the standards by which care will be provided. People have been concerned that their access to this necessary care will be restricted, so here are the facts.
- NHS England Specialised Services is a distinct entity that is responsible for commissioning services for patients with ‘rare’ conditions.
- They do not govern what GPs and hospital consultants do in their own services.
- They have no impact on private doctors and what they decide is the right care for their patients.
- Their approach is harmful, dangerous and discriminatory.
- Doctors must make sure the care of their patient is their first concern.
- Doctors must make sure that refusing treatment will not cause more harm than giving it, and they are personally responsible for the decision they make, and the outcome of their decision.
- ‘WPATH, ASIAPATH, EPATH, PATHA, and USPATH find serious flaws in this document, which sets out a plan for a service for gender diverse children and young people in England that is likely to cause enormous harm and exacerbate the higher rates of suicidality experienced by these young people in the context of ongoing pathologisation and discrimination. WPATH, ASIAPATH, EPATH, PATHA, and USPATH urge NHS England and Wales to reconsider its approach, which is now contrary to the progress being made in many countries around the world and incongruent with statements from the World Health Organization (2017) and the Yogyakarta Principles (2007) relating to the right to the highest attainable standard of health.’
- ‘If you are a GP, we recognise that you may have queries about prescribing in this area of care. To provide inclusive care to your transgender and gender diverse patients, consult and work together with experienced colleagues and specialist service providers to provide medicines if this meets your patient’s needs.
- ‘As Good medical practice says – you must only prescribe drugs if you are satisfied they serve the patient’s needs.
- ‘It would not, however, be acceptable to simply refuse to treat the patient. Instead, we would advise you to:
- ‘Discuss your concerns with your patient and carefully assess their needs
- ‘Seek to understand their concerns and preferences
- ‘Consult more experienced colleagues or service leads and provide care in line with the guidance in Good medical practice.’
GenderGP will continue to provide puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones to patients who need them. We will always stand by the rights and safety of our patients and will provide support to those who need it. Should you need to speak to someone, please reach out to our team via our help centre, or book a session with our team here.