GenderGP launches Fund to enable subsidised care for under 16s
In response to the news that trans youth in the UK will face even greater challenges in accessing the care they need on the NHS, GenderGP has launched its own crowdfunding initiative: the GenderGP Fund.
Over the years, we have had a number of people approach us to ask whether they could sponsor, or make a contribution towards, someone else’s care. The recent ruling in the case brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust has given us the impetus to create a way of enabling people to do just that.
Any funds donated will initially be made available to trans youth aged 16 or under, who are at risk as a result of the withdrawal of their gender care on the NHS.
If you would like to donate or apply to access the Fund, please choose from the following options, or scroll down for more information.
How does it work?
GenderGP is a private healthcare provider, we do not receive any external or public funding. All fees paid to the service by patients go towards covering the cost of the gender specialists that provide the day-to-day care. Any additional funds are invested back into the education, advocacy and development arm of the organisation which campaigns for better access to healthcare for trans individuals.
GenderGP is based on a subscription model. Service users pay a one-off initial fee and a subsequent monthly fee. This secures their ongoing support and care. In addition, patients must pay for any prescription medication, blood tests and follow-up appointments that are not funded by their NHS GP.
In a bid to help those on lower incomes to access our services, we have invited members of the public to make donations to the GenderGP Fund. This is a not for profit initiative and 100% of all donations received will be used for direct patient care. GenderGP staff members have also offered to work at a reduced rate, specifically when supporting subsidised patients.
For complete clarity, we are not a registered charity, any use of the word “charitable” refers to the adjective ‘relating to the assistance of those in need.’ This initiative seeks to help those who wish to help others.
The fund will be made available to those who, without help, would struggle to pay to use GenderGP’s services. We recognise that we have a responsibility to distribute the fund in a way that is fair. In order to do this we will require applicants to fill out a statement of means, this will enable us to work out exactly how best to support them.
Care will be provided for as long as it is needed, or as long as the funds are available, with regular reviews on means of additional ways of supporting this care – either by the individual or via the NHS. We will continue to use the funds available for those in most need, and we welcome suggestions for fund-raising activities in order to keep the fund going for as long as possible.
While this is a new initiative, and our immediate priority sits with those young people impacted by the recent ruling, longer-term we hope to be able to expand the Fund to provide help to individuals of all ages who are in need of financial support.
The medical evidence in favour of the proven interventions for trans people is clear, as are the effects of withholding treatment. GenderGP understands the need for timely, accessible care and the importance of receiving that care according to need rather than age.
This is a brand new initiative and we are developing a full FAQ based on questions we are receiving in response to the initial announcement. This will be published next week.
The GenderGP Fund: FAQ
Every donation, no matter how small, is hugely appreciated. There is no minimum or maximum amount – it is entirely up to you. You can choose to donate a one-off amount or set up a standing order.
We want to help as many people as we can to access the care they need. We will work with you to see how much of your care can be provided by your GP, how much you or your support network can afford and how much we need to raise to assist you. This will be continually evaluated for as long as the support is needed.
The money pays for the GenderGP staff time and technology solutions. The Fund will be used to subsidise your care. We will work with individual applicants to establish exactly how much support is needed and funds will be allocated accordingly.
Yes, this is a subsidised scheme to enable the funds raised to help as many individuals as possible. We recognise that we have a responsibility to distribute The Fund in a way that is fair. We will consider each application on a case by case basis. Applicants will be required to fill out a statement of means and we will have a criteria against which all applicants will be assessed. This will enable us to work out exactly how best to support each individual.
We will begin by supporting those aged 16 and under whose care has been directly impacted by the recent ruling and who are at risk as a result. We will have a set of criteria against which applicants will be measured in a bid to determine eligibility.
How do you assess the eligibility of people requesting access to The Fund? Is it on income, need, what?
We have a responsibility to manage and distribute all funds raised evenly and fairly, with that in mind all applicants will be means-tested to enable us to support them in line with their individual needs. We will review this regularly to ensure that if a patient’s situation changes, we can adjust their support accordingly. We will also allocate funds based on a formal criteria which is currently being finalised.
Although the priority for The Fund is currently for young people who have been affected by the recent ruling, we hope to encourage fund-raising activity and donations long-term, in order to help as many people as we can who are in need.
Our ultimate aim is for The Fund to be accessible to anyone who needs it. Our immediate focus is on those aged 16 and under who have had their care removed as a result of the recent case brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in the UK.
As with all reduced rates and discounts, we ask for proof of income or benefits. If an individual is already receiving treatment which has been stopped, we will also ask to see proof of assessments in the form of reports and letters from the associated service.
MECHANICS OF DONATING
As GenderGP works with each person to provide the right care for them, it is not always easy to provide an exact estimate of costs. However, were an individual to be provided with 100% subsidised care, including all medication costs on the most expensive medications – puberty blocker injections – the total amount would be £1,200 per year.
Yes this is an option. Please contact us for details on how we can match a sponsor up with someone who needs financial support.
There is no way of fully knowing how many people have been affected by the court ruling and although this is our immediate focus, we appreciate that the scope of those who need help is much broader than trans youth. The more we can raise through The Fund the more people we will be able to support.
You can choose to donate a one-off amount or set up a regular, monthly payment which can be stopped at any time.
Each person’s application will be considered based on their specific needs. For some it will be a short-term subsidy, while others may need longer-term support. We will review each person who is using The Fund every four months and any award will last a maximum of 12 months. Should support be required for longer than 12 months we will look at the practicalities involved and how best to provide that support.
Will you ensure treatment continues until my child reaches adult services? I don’t want to start treatment, to then have to stop it later as The Fund runs out?
The amount we are able to provide will be dictated by the available funds. Our immediate objective is to support any child who has been impacted by the Tavistock and Portman ruling and who is suffering as a consequence. As part of the eligibility process we will discuss a period of time during which we will be able to support as well as ways in which the individual can seek additional help long-term.
Will I have to renew my eligibility for The Fund each year? (What if a parent gains employment / can afford treatment – would the money be better spent on someone else more ‘needy’?)
Absolutely. Each case will be assessed according to need and will be regularly reviewed and adjusted.
ACCOUNTING AND DUE DILIGENCE
As at 1pm on 10th December 2020, a total of £3291.50 has been donated to The Fund. This could help two people access blockers for a year, based on full care being provided and many more based on subsidised care being provided.
Yes! We will be focusing on transparency and equity at the core of this initiative.
A separate bank account has been set up specifically for funds raised. Monthly accounts will be kept meticulously so that they are available for viewing and auditing purposes.
No. This is not an exercise in profit. This is about getting urgent care to those who need it but who cannot afford it or access it elsewhere. Our role is simply to enable the many to help the few. Staffing costs will be paid for by the money raised, however some GenderGP staff have offered to work at a reduced rate for patients accessing this fund.
Over the years that GenderGP has been in operation we have been approached many times by service users who have wanted to contribute to another’s care. This is a way of formalising that process so that if someone would like to help, they can.
This is a not for profit initiative and 100% of all donations received will be used for direct patient care. GenderGP staff members have also offered to work at a reduced rate, specifically when supporting subsidised patients. GenderGP is covering the administration/staffing costs of managing The Fund as part of its contribution.
This will be decided on a case by case basis. For some people, it is the set up fee that is prohibitive but the medication costs are achievable. For others the regular cost of medication is too much of a strain but they have a small amount of money to cover the administrative costs incurred with setting them up.
We are assembling a dedicated team to manage The Fund. This will consist of independent membership as well as GenderGP employees to ensure transparency of funds. If you have any expertise of acting in the capacity of trustee and you would like to be involved, get in touch via the GenderGP Help Centre. This is a voluntary role.
100% of funds raised through this initiative will be directed solely into patient care. All funds allocated will be used solely for patient care and not invested in the organisation in any other way.
The Fund is an initiative set up to help those who wish to contribute to someone else’s care. Any use of the word charitable is as an adjective ‘relating to the assistance of those in need.’ The Fund is not part of any registered charity but will follow the same principles.
No. This initiative is designed to help people to access the care they need, which is not forthcoming via their national healthcare provider. GenderGP is the only private service which supports trans people of all ages. We can provide the care that individuals need, either independently or in collaboration with the patient’s GP.
Our ultimate aim is for The Fund to be accessible to anyone who needs it but we have to start small! Our immediate focus is on those aged 16 and under who have had their care removed as a result of the recent case brought against the Tavistock and Portman clinic in the UK.
This is as an exercise in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is defined as: the idea that a company should be interested in and willing to help society and the environment as well as be concerned about the products and profits it makes. In donating our time, reducing our rates to support this patient cohort and facilitating the process, we are helping others to support those who may otherwise be prevented from accessing private services.