In a recent piece in the Huffington Post, consultant psychiatrist and gender specialist Stuart Lorimer comments on the equality report issued in January 2016 by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee.
Dr Lorimer focused on a specific paragraph of the report:
We are concerned that Gender Identity Services continue to be provided as part of mental-health services. This is a relic of the days when trans identity in itself was regarded as a disease or disorder of the mind and contributes to the misleading impression that this continues to be the case. Consideration must be given to the transfer of these services to some other relevant area of clinical specialism, such as endocrinology (which deals with hormone related conditions), or their establishment as a distinct specialism in their own right.
Of the two options in that paragraph (transferring Gender Identity Services to a clinical specialty; establishing it as a distinct specialty), Dr Lorimer prefers the latter. He says, “A variety of clinical specialisms might lay reasonable claim to ownership of gender care but, like the platypus, it’s its own creature, distinct and different.”
Dr Lorimer says that existing gender services must rise to the coming challenges. He makes the case, and we strongly agree, that a multi-disciplinary approach is best, and is already becoming a prevailing trend. He believes that psychiatrists and psychologists are always likely to be part a part of the whole, but bringing clinicians together from a diversity of fields will result in a truly comprehensive approach, properly tailored for the individual.
In his comments at the end, Dr Lorimer postulates the idea of the ‘Gender GP,’ a concept Dr Webberley is very fond of.