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All trans people deserve healthcare that supports us to make well informed decisions about our transitions, our bodies and lives. Right now, many trans people are waiting years to access gender identity services. When we are finally offered appointments, too many of us experience long travel distances, frustrating inconsistences and lack of person-centred care. Action must be taken to improve transition healthcare!
In December 2021, the Scottish Government published the “NHS gender identity services strategic action framework: 2022-2024”
It included 17 commitments to improve gender identity services, alongside centralised funding from the Scottish Government to make this happen.
As part of that framework, Scottish Trans host a Lived Experience Coordinator, whose role is all about connecting trans people to the different pieces of working happening to try and improve gender identity services as part of the framework.
You can sign up to their mailing list, where you’ll get updates on the work that is happening and more importantly, hear about opportunities to have your voice heard through consultations, surveys, and events: https://mailchi.mp/1433465edfd0/lived-experience-coordinator-mailing-list
Our healthcare should provide the person-centred information and support we need to live our happiest, healthiest lives. We should be empowered to work collaboratively with healthcare professionals to explore what makes our lives more liveable. Not made to jump through hoops to fit into narrow stereotypes. We need trust in order to reflect on uncertainties and not feel under pressure to hide aspects of ourselves.
Whether you live in Edinburgh, Fort William, or Lerwick, you should have good access to healthcare. There should be more places transition healthcare is delivered, and telephone and video appointments should be provided smoothly. Disabled trans people, minority ethnic trans people, homeless trans people, and all ages of trans people need to be provided with inclusive and adaptable transition healthcare.
The long waiting times measured in years are not ok. Months to make referrals and clinics never answering the phone is not ok. Getting forgotten by overworked clinicians is not ok. Having almost no trans-friendly mental health support is not ok. Our healthcare is important and must be properly funded. Our NHS is important and must be properly funded. So many in our community share in common the months and years of waiting. It can’t stay like this.
Too much of our healthcare is delivered by psychiatrists and isolated specialist services when it doesn’t need to be. Let’s change the system and make sure that more healthcare professionals like nurses, GPs and sexual health practitioners can deliver effective transition healthcare. We need our health service to treat trans people as regular patients – some of our needs are complex, many are simple.
30 Bernard Street Edinburgh EH6 6PR
+44 (0)131 467 6039 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Trans is part of the Equality Network
Scottish Trans is the Equality Network project to improve gender identity and gender reassignment equality, rights and inclusion in Scotland. The Equality Network is a leading Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights charity.
The Equality Network is a registered Scottish charity: SC037852, and a company limited by guarantee: SC220213.
We are grateful for funding from the Scottish Government