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An important new piece of research on trans healthcare in Scotland!

The Scottish Public Health Network (ScotPHN) conducted a health care needs assessment about trans people and their access to specialist Gender Identity Services in Scotland that was published in May 2018. This was done with the following aims and objectives in mind:

  • To identify the level of need and map current service provision
  • To understand the service user experience and access to services
  • To understand how the current gender reassignment protocol is being adhered to and what support services are important to users
  • To identify the inequalities resulting from current service provision

The research looked at information about how many trans people there might be in Scotland, how current services are provided at gender identity clinics, what trans people’s experiences are of using gender identity clinics, and how the approach in Scotland compares to other countries, both in the rest of the UK and internationally. It did this by looking at existing academic evidence and research, by using information from a Scottish Trans Alliance survey on trans people’s experiences of using gender identity clinics, and by interviewing people working in gender identity services in Scotland at the moment. The research was guided by a steering group that was designed to bring experts from the third sector together with members of ScotPHN. This included representatives from Scottish Trans Alliance, LGBT Health and Wellbeing and Stonewall Scotland.

The findings of this research can be used as evidence of the current needs of trans people from Gender Identity Services, where there are gaps in these services, and how they can be improved. The report included recommendations on what should change to make sure that NHS Scotland was providing gender identity services that truly meet the needs of all trans people, and where other organisations such as the charity and voluntary sector may be best placed to provide additional support that falls outside the remit of gender identity clinics. We want to ensure that trans people across Scotland are included in ongoing conversations about how the recommendations made in this research can be followed through to improve trans specific healthcare nationally.

Although we know that the number of referrals to Gender Identity Clinics have been rising in Scotland over the last seven years, and third sector organisations have been hearing anecdotally of the strengths and weaknesses of these services for many years longer than that, there was a lack of clear evidence about the overall national picture that could be used to make the case for changing how these services are provided. This report should be the first step in creating that evidence base.

ScotPHN is a network of people working in public health in Scotland, and its aim is to bring together relevant organisations and individuals to produce research about Scotland’s public health needs.

You can download a Community briefing paper which includes the Executive Summary and Recommendations.

You can read the entire report at: https://www.scotphn.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2018_05_16-HCNA-of-Gender-Identity-Services.pdf